Sta. Martha, special patroness of the people of Pateros, is enshrined inside a “virina” on the altar of San Roque Church. She will be honored with a nine-day Novena of Masses starting July 20, 6:30 p.m., and ending on July 28.
Former parish priests and priests born in Pateros have been invited to say Masses. The Parish Pastoral Council and the Lingkod ni Sta. Martha are in charge of fiesta activities.
Priest-celebrants of the Novena Masses are Msgr. Rolly de la Cruz, Fr. Allan Cortes, Fr. Lito Villegas, Fr. Chester Serana, Fr. Domingo Ontuca, Fr. Godwin Tatlonghari, Fr. Dodjie Asuncion, Fr. Dexter Sescon and Fr. Roy Rosales. Pasig Bishop Mylo Vergara will officiate the Concelebrated Mass on July 29, at 7:30 a.m.
Parish Priest Fr. Roy Rosales told me that the devotion to Sta. Martha in Pateros began in 1860. The theme for this year’s fiesta is “Ang Susi ng Kabayanihan ni Sta. Martha ay ang Kanyang Palagian Kaugnayan kay Kristo.”
Martha is the favorite saint of housewives, laundrywomen, old maids, cooks, nutritionists, household helpers, food servers like waiters and waitresses, landladies of boarding houses, and workers in hospitals.
Sta. Martha is portrayed in art in different ways—holding a broom or a ladle; with a bunch of keys tied to her waist; holding a pot or a pitcher of water or a basket of fruits and bread. At the same time, she is stepping on a dragon.
Tradition reveals that Sta. Martha saved the town of Pateros from financial ruin when she stepped on a dragon that was killing the ducks floating on the river.
Pateros is known for its “balut-making industry” from which comes the livelihood of the people. To show their gratitude, they bring the saint in a procession around the town during her fiesta.
St. Anne’s feast day
July 26 is known as the feast day of St. Anne and St. Joachim, parents of Mary, the mother of Jesus. I have a special affection for St. Anne because when I was very sick in 1981, I prayed to her fervently, placing the prayer to her beside me. I go to Sta. Ana Church whenever I can to pray to her in thanksgiving.
St. Anne is the titular patron saint of the district of Sta. Ana, Manila and enthroned at the left side of the altar in the Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned. Novena Masses start today at 6 p.m. and ends July 25. Fiesta Mass is at 6:30 PM with the parish priest, Fr. Andy Litigio, OFM, as presider.
Our Lady of Piat in QC, Caloocan
The pilgrim image of Our Lady of Piat is visiting the Parish of St. Benedict in Don Antonio, QC until July 18 after which she will be brought to the SSS Building in East Ave., Quezon City until July 20.
The Piat image will also visit: Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish on Mindanao Ave.; Good Shepherd Cathedral in Fairview, QC, July 25-27; and Epiphany of the Lord Parish in Camarin, Caloocan, July 27-31.
‘Francisca de Manila’
The life of Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo, founder of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena will be shown in a musical drama on Aug. 24 in Siena College in Quezon City and on Aug. 26 in Siena College in Taytay, Rizal.
“Francisca de Manila” is directed by director-writer Francis Villacorta from the libretto of Dominican priest Fr. Juan de Santo Domingo’s book “Breve Ralacion” (The Cradle Years of the Dominican Sisters in the Philippines).
Cause for beatification
The Servant of God is awaiting the “blessed” status from the Sacred Congregation of the Cause of Saints in Rome.
Francisca Fuentes was the daughter of Simon Fuentes and Anna Maria Tamayo del Castillo and was born in 1647. Widowed and childless after a brief marriage, she dedicated herself to the sick, the needy and the young.
In 1682, she received the habit of Dominican Tertiary and took the name Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo. She founded a religious community in the name of St. Dominic.
Mother Francisca died at the age of 63 on Aug. 24, 1711.
Where to get tickets?
The Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena is producing the play. Call Siena College QC at 0915-58132697 or 5248454.
Greenbelt Chapel is 28
Office workers in Makati normally end their day hearing Mass at Greenbelt Chapel at 5:30 p.m.
For the past 28 years, the Greenbelt Chapel has been the haven for prayer and quiet reflection for many people. The insight of the late Fanny del Rosario Diploma and her husband, Nordy Diploma, in building the dome-shaped chapel must have been divinely inspired.
Built at the center of Greenbelt Park in Ayala Center with the support of Ayala Corporation, the private chapel was inaugurated by Jaime Cardinal Sin on July 28, 1983.
Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, D.D., incoming CBCP president, will preside at the concelebrated anniversary Mass on July 20, 6 p.m., with chaplain Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr. and guest priests.
All systems go for the forthcoming fiesta of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga in Cavite City on Nov. 13 and 20. Fr. Cezar R. Reyes Jr. , parish priest, heads the fiesta executive committee.
The other members are Fr. Jerry Belen, assistant parish priest; Remigio Ignacio David, hermano mayor; Jose B. Llacuna, steering committee overall chair; Teresa A. Gonzales, treasurer; Emie C. Jose, secretary; Apple David, auditor; Manuel P. Gonzales Jr., adviser; and Atty. Leonides David, adviser.
The icon of the Virgen de Soledad is enshrined in San Roque Church in Cavite City. The pilgrim icon is brought out on the first Sunday of December (Dec. 4 this year) for the grand Marian procession mounted by the Cofradia de la Inmaculada Concepcion in Intramuros.