As we prepare the Novena of Masses in honor of St. Anthony de Padua from June 4 to 12, and his feast day on June 13, I always look back on how the saint had helped me when I was three years old, and to thank him time and time again for saving me from an early death.
When I was three, I fell from the window of my Lola Sima’s house (sister of my maternal grandmother Marcela Darang), and fell on a sharp bamboo stick leaning on the side of the house. I was rushed to San Antonio Hospital’s emergency room in Laoag City. My mother Lourdes was praying to St. Anthony de Padua to save me. My mother was a devotee of the saint and wore the brown dress (called usong in Ilocano) when she went to church during those times.
I was saved, but I still have lots of stitches on the left side of my waist to remind me of that time. The saint who is called “the miracle worker of the Church” also interceded for me when I had a major operation on April 23, 1985, a Tuesday, to remove the swollen muscles of my esophagus—a condition called “achalasia.”
In thanksgiving for his help, I offer an arrangement of red roses to St. Anthony de Padua on the first Tuesday of the month at Ermita Church. Sr. Mayet Quiban arranges them sometimes for me.
Fr. Benny Tuazon, parish priest of Singalong Church, and the Parish Pastoral Council have chosen the fiesta theme “San Antonio ayon sa isang Antonio.” The priests celebrating the Novena Masses from June 4 to June 12, 6 p.m., and the bishop saying the fiesta Mass on June 13, 6 p.m., are all named “Antonio.”
The Mass celebrants are Fr. Antonio Rosales, OFM (June 4); Fr. Antonio Villanueva (June 5); Fr. Rey Anthony Yatco (June 6); Fr. Rolan Anthony Gavina (June 7); Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr. (June 8); Fr. Tony Navarette (June 9); Msgr. Antonio Mortillero (June 10); Fr. Tony Atole, SSP (June 11); Fr. Anton Pascual (June 12); and Bishop Emeritus Antonio Rañola of Cebu (June 13). Fiesta Masses on June 13 are at 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 6 p.m. and 6 p.m.
‘St. Anthony’s Bread’
St. Anthony de Padua” will be given away after every Mass on June 13, the fiesta day. The legend of the bread began in 1276 AD. A child was drowned when the Basilica of St. Anthony de Padua was being built. The mother of the child begged the saint to save her child. She promised to give flour to the poor in a quantity weighing the same as her son’s weight. The boy was said to have regained life, and the mother fulfilled her promise.
Sacred Heart novena
The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on the Friday (June 15) after Corpus Christi Sunday (June 10). The National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Dao Street (now Sacred Heart Street) corner Kamagong in Makati will begin the Novena Masses on June 5, 6 p.m., with Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Tagle as celebrant.
Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales will preside over the fiesta Mass on June 15, 6 p.m. Other Mass celebrants are Msgr. Emmanuel Sunga (June 6); Bishop Francis de Leon (June 7); Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ (June 8); and Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani (June 9); Fr. Manuel Flores, SJ (June 11); Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB (June 12); Fr. Genaro Diwa (June 13); Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes (June 14, 12 noon); and Bishop Broderick Pabillo (June 14, 6 p.m.).
Feast day Mass celebrants will be Bishop Bernardino Cortez at 12:15 p.m. and Cardinal Rosales at 6 p.m. All over the country many parishes also celebrate this great feast of the Sacred Heart in June, a month dedicated to Him.
Praying for peace in Masinloc
Roselyn Magsaysay and friends of Ina Poon Bato Foundation brought the pilgrim image of Ina Poon Bato to Masinloc, Zambales, on May 27, Pentecost Sunday. The celebration of Holy Mass asked God for peace between China and the Philippines, related to the Scarborough Shoal dispute.
The townsfolk, numbering 500 and led by Mayor Desiree Edora, gathered at the plaza facing the South China Sea. Fr. Felix Labios, parish priest, celebrated the Mass at 5 p.m. A procession followed.
Masinloc, one of the 13 towns of Zambales, is just 124 nautical miles from Panatag or Scarborough Shoal.
La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc
The image of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc will be enshrined in all the parishes of the Diocese of Laoag as part of the culmination activities of the jubilee year of the diocese, which ends June 5. The diocese will commemorate it with a solemn High Mass at St. William’s Cathedral. Msgr. Ian Rabago, apostolic administrator, will bury a time capsule containing memorabilia of the golden jubilee year, letters, photos and other historical information about the Diocese of Laoag.
It will be opened in the year 2061 (or 50 years after), on the centennial year of the Diocese. Included in the time capsule is the letter of Archbishop Sergio Utleg, who was Bishop of Laoag during the Jubilee launch. He is now Archbishop of Tuguegarao. In charge of the activities is Soledad Ventura Fariñas, an alumna of Holy Spirit Academy.
‘Lingat-Mata’ at Guadalupe parish
Free eye checkup for parishioners will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Barangay Javalera in Gen. Trias, Cavite, June 6-10. Called “Lingat-Mata,” the project is one of the activities celebrating the first anniversary, on April 16, of the Canonical Erection of the parish, presided by then Imus Bishop Chito Tagle, on April 16, 2011.
The parish covers a populace of 20,000. There are six volunteer choirs in the parish. Fr. Roel Castañeda is parish priest. The church was built by Gene de los Reyes.