San Roque Church in Cavite City is being reconstructed. The roof at least has been finished in time for the fiesta of Our Lady of Soledad on November 13 and 20.
The reconstruction has been pushed by Fr. Cezar Reyes Jr., parish priest, and Remigio “Boy” David, the hermano mayor this year. A native of Cavite City, David grew up praying to Our Lady of Soledad, participating in her processions and fiestas.
Theme of this year’s fiesta is solidarity so that the reconstruction can be finished: “Soledad, Solidarieta e Sollievo” (Soledad, Solidarity and Uplifting/Remedy).
Those who wish to help can deposit their donations to San Roque Parish with savings account 1273-1642-74 at Bank of the Philippine Islands (Caridad, Cavite City branch). Signatories of the bank account are Fr. Cezar Reyes Jr., Teresa Gonzales and José Llacuna.
Leading the celebration are Father Reyes, San Roque Parish Pastoral Council and Cofradia de Nuestra Señora de Soledad de Porta Vaga, headed by Ryan Enriquez as president.
The program of activities:
Nov. 11—Thanksgiving rally and motorcade, 2:30 p.m.; concelebrated Mass with Imus Bishop Chito Tagle as main celebrant, 6 p.m.
Nov. 12—“Visperas de Fiesta” Novena, 5:30 a.m.; Mass, 6 a.m.; “Karakol” (Fluvial Procession), 8:30 a.m.; land procession from San Roque Parish to Calumpang, then embarkation at Calumpang.
Nov. 12—Concelebrated Mass at1 p.m.; “Karakol sa Lupa,” from Samonte Park to San Roque Parish, 2:30 p.m.; Novena at 5:30 p.m. and Holy Mass at 6 p.m.
6 p.m. (main celebrant is Malolos Bishop Emeritus Cirilo R. Almario Jr.); grand procession, 7:30 p.m..
History of the devotion
Fr. Virgilio Saenz Mendoza, parish priest of the Immaculate Conception of Naic, tells the history of the devotion to the Soledad.
“Tradition tells us that one stormy night centuries ago, while a Spanish sentinel kept watch at his garita (sentry post) on the isthmus of Rosario, a dazzling apparition rose from the turbulent waters of Cañacao Bay (where the city hall stands today). Startled and alarmed, suspecting that it could be Moslem pirates, the sentinel shouted ‘Alto! Alto!’ as the light flowed toward him. The figure asked him instead why he had not recognized Maria, and told him to let her pass. The guard was awed and humbly knelt before the Lady.
“The morning after, a framed painting of La Virgen de la Soledad was found lying on the shore, close to the spot where the Virgin had appeared the night before. An inscription was found at the back of the painting: ‘A doze de Abril 1692 ailos Juan de Oliba puso esta Stma. Ymagen Haqui,’ which means ‘This sacred image was placed here by Juan de Oliba on April 12, 1692.’”
Father Saenz continues: “La Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, La Celestial Guardiana y Protectora de la Provincia de Cavite—also called Reina de Cavite, Patrona de los Naos—the patroness of the City of Cavite, has been the refuge of the immortal spirit of Caviteños for three centuries. The center of the people’s religious life is their ‘Queen’—the special sanctuary of every true Caviteño.”
Papal Nuncio Bruno Torpigliani canonically crowned the icon on Nov. 17, 1978.
The late Antonio Nazareno mounted the Tricentennial Celebration of the devotion to Soledad de Porta Vaga on April 12-18, 1992.
Today, Cofradia de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, composed of young and old members, keeps the devotion alive through its activities.
Eucharistic Healers of Mary
Two deacons of Eucharistic Healers of Mary will be ordained by Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan on July 5, 9 a.m., at St. Peter Metropolitan Cathedral, Tuguegarao.
They are Rev. Ramon de la Cruz, EHM, and Theresebough de la Cruz, EHM. Formator and Rector is Fr. Lorenzo Marzo, EHM.
The order is tasked to take care of sick and elderly priests. Fr. Marzo told me he and his seminarians are looking for a house since they have to give up their old residence in Quezon City. To help, please text Fr. Marzo at 0939-5738047.
Reminder to devotees of Our Lady of Piat: Fiesta Mass on July 9, 9 a.m., at Sto. Domingo Church.
By the way, the new rector and parish priest of Basilica Minore de Piat is Msgr. Othello Bartolome.
Msgr. Samuel Baculi is the new parish priest of Holy Guardian Angels Parish in Tuao, Cagayan.