Tens of thousands of devotees of Our Lady of La Naval will participate in the grand procession in Quezon City today at 4 p.m.
They have their own stories to tell of how the Virgin of La Naval helped them in their struggles and needs. The theme of this year’s fiesta is “Ina ni Kristo, Ina ng Buhay!” (Mother of Christ, Mother of Life).
My friend Mila Dolores’ prayers were answered when she passed the government exams for chemistry and food technology in 1964. Since then Mila has been sponsoring a Holy Mass every Oct. 7 at 5 a.m. and joining the grand procession on La Naval feast day every second Saturday of October.
Marietta and Al Quiban go to La Naval every fiesta to thank her for favors received, especially this year, for making possible their pilgrimage to the Divine Mercy shrine in Poland through Adam’s Travel. Marietta prayed to the small statue of Our Lady of La Naval in her office and to Blessed John Paul II.
The image of Our Lady of La Naval venerated in Sto. Domingo Church was originally the icon of Our Lady of the Rosary commissioned by Governor General of the Philippines Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas. A Chinese artisan sculpted it under the direction of the navigator, Capt. Hernando de los Rios Coronel. It is 56 inches tall; its head and hands are of ivory. The Holy Child is entirely of ivory. It was carved with such skill that after almost 400 years, it still retains its majestic and imposing beauty which commands reverence and devotion before its presence.
The image earned its title La Naval de Manila when, in the mid-17th century, the victory of the Spanish-Filipino invaders against the vastly superior Dutch armada was attributed to Our Lady of the Rosary.
For over three centuries the image was enthroned in one of the side altars of the Sto. Domingo Church in Intramuros, in a niche protected with iron grills. In 1907, it was canonically crowned before prelates and high church leaders from around Asia. It was the first canonical coronation of a Marian image in Asia.
Transient in UST
At the start of World War II, the Church of Sto. Domingo in Intramuros was destroyed, but the Dominicans, foremost promoters of the devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary, had the good sense of keeping it in a vault during the Japanese invasion. Later, they moved the image to their new campus of the University of Sto. Tomas in Sampaloc, Manila, another wise move since with the liberation of Manila four years later, Intramuros was laid waste.
The image remained at the UST chapel, also dedicated to the Santissimo Rosario, until 1954, when it was carried in a solemn procession to her new shrine in the new Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City.
La Naval de Manila is now the patroness of Quezon City.
Blessed John Paul II exhibit
The skull cap used by Pope John Paul II when he was shot and wounded in the failed assassination attempt on May 13, 1981 on Pope John Paul II, and the chasuble he used during the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, on Feb. 18, 1981 in Manila, are some of the relics of Blessed John Paul II on exhibit at the Activity Center of the Gateway Mall in Cubao from Oct. 9 -21.
Dubbed as “Beatus: Embracing the Holiness of John Paul II,” the event is a celebration of the Diocese of Cubao of the feast day of Pope John Paul II whose actual feast falls on Oct. 22.
“Beatus” is Latin for blessed.
Soledad fiesta in Cavite
Remigio “Boy” David, this year’s hermano mayor of Our Lady of Soledad fiesta in Cavite City informed this column that Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani has been invited to officiate the Concelebrated Mass on Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. in San Roque Church, while Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez has been invited to say Mass on Nov. 20 at 9 a.m.
The fiesta committee is working very hard to raise funds for the completion of the restoration of the church on time for the fiesta. Please deposit your donations at any BPI branch in the name of Bank of Phil. Islands (Caridad, Cavite City) Savings Acct. No. 1273164274 and pay to account names: Fr. Cezar Reyes, Jr., Remigio David, Teresa Gonzales and Jose Llacuna.
Of all the Ticzon nephews and nieces, it was his niece Remedios “Baby” Ticzon Gonzales to whom the late Ramon Ticzon gave the antique statue of Nuestra Sra. de la Leche y Buen Parto in 1997.
Baby has faithfully propagated the devotion to La Leche since year 2000 with the help of Fr. Nick Blanquisco, then parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima. Many prayers have been answered, especially from women who have difficulty conceiving. Safe deliveries have also been attributed to her intercession.
Catch the Holy Mass at Harrison Plaza Chapel on Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.
Call Baby Gonzales at tel. 531-3063.
Priests’ Marian movement
For the longest time since I met him at Ermita Church, Gus Escareal has been supporting the Marian Movement of Priests (MMP) as a volunteer organizing cenacles for the lay. Still driving a car at 74, he goes around with his wife attending MMP activities. Monthly cenacle every second Tuesday at Buklod ng Pag-ibig Center on Balete Drive, QC. Holy Hour at 4 p.m., then separate cenacles for priests and lay followed by fellowship dinner at 6 p.m.
There is also quarterly activity, on Oct. 24. For the venue, text Gus Escareal at 0917-8682099—Oct. 15, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., at Virgen de la Strada Parish on Katipunan Ave., QC. Free registration, bring your own lunch. Fr. Omer Prieto will give three talks. Open to all.
The group of Grace Salvacion and Letty Zapanta will lead the
praying of 2,000 Rosaries today at 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Geordino Royal Pavillion in Barangay San Jose, Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Everyone is invited.
Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval, pray for us.