The Virgins of Cavite: History, Art and Religiosity
NUESTRA SEÑORA DE CANDELARIA
Silang, Cavite, Philippines
Based on the origin myth, the image of the Blessed Virgin was found by Andres, a native,
in the mountains of Silang in 1640. 1
The beauty of the Lady captivated a friend of Andres and
asked for it. A temporary place of worship was built for her. People were awed. They gathered
together and prayed. One time, the man failed to observe the sacredness of a Friday as
mentioned to him by his folks. He went on a journey. Upon his return, the image of the Virgin
The main retablo of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria Parish
was nowhere to be found. He searched, found her and the faithful asked forgiveness. The
Nuestra Señora was brought home. After eight other disappearances, the image was placed on
the retablo at the gospel side.
The image of the Nuestra Señora De Candelaria, patroness of the town of Silang, at the
facade of the church structure is described as a polychromed.2
On the other hand, the statue in
the main retablo is de bastidor. 3
Javellana, René B. Wood & Stone: For God’s Greater Glory Jesuit Art and Architecture in the Philippines. Quezon
City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1991, p. 204. See also Bernad, Miguel A. The Christianization of the
Philippines: Problems and Perspectives. Vol. XX. Manila: Filipiniana Book Guild, 1972.
ibid., p. 75, # 65.
Silang was established as a parish on February 3, 1595.4
The Franciscan Fathers Diego
de la Concepcion and Juan de la Cruz began spreading the Christian faith to the Silangeño in
The facade of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria Parish
1585. Four years after, they ceded the parish to the Jesuits because of lack of manpower. The
ecclesiastical approval was received on May 8, 1599.5
Silang became a permanent mission of the
Society of Jesus in 1611.6
They left Silang after 169 year s in 1768 because of the decree of King
Carlos III. The seculars took over for 81 years.
NUESTRA SEÑORA DELA ASUNCION
The researcher (Teresita P. Unabia) happened to see the image during the time that the women, in-charge of the
image of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, were changing Her garments. Bastidor is a round embroidery frame of
two fitted concentric wooden circles which hold in place material being embroidered. It is also often used to mean
the cone-shaped wooden framework, more accurately called andador, on which the skirt of the santo is mounted.
Laya, Jaime C. and Castañeda, Lulu Tesoro. Prusisyon: Religious Pageantry in the Philippines. Metropolitan Manila,
Philippines: Cofradia de la Inmaculada Concepcion. 1995, p. 236.
Unabia, Teresita P. Silang: Kasaysayan at Pananampalataya. Cavite: Cavite Studies Center, De La Salle University-
Dasmariñas and Cavite Historical Society, 2000, p. 167. As cited from Chirino. 1609, p. 183.
ibid., p. 168. As cited from De la Costa, Horacio, S.J. The Jesuits in the Philippines, 1581-1768. Massachusette:
Harvard University Press, 1961, p. 203.
ibid. As cited from Mendoza, Fr. Virgilio Saenz. Parish of Silang: A Brief History.
Though the parish was officially established in 1627, the image was purchased as early
as 1620 for seventy pesos (₧ 70.00) by the faithful of Maragondon. There are three statues of
the Nuestra Señora dela Asuncion in the Parish of Maragondon. One is the original image with
The main retablo of Nuestra Señora dela Asuncion Parish of Maragondon, Cavite
and enigmatic or engaging look because the Virgin Mary seems to be smiling
from its left side, but from its right, she appears solemn.8
The second image is the Birheng
This standing Virgin Mary is in the retablo of the church. The image looks up at the
heavens. The statue was carved out of kamagong. Its face and hands are made of ivory. The
third is the Birheng Nakaupo or seated Virgin Mary.10
Nuestra Señora Dela Asuncion. 2010, pp. 8, 15, 20.
ibid., p. 16.
ibid., pp. 8, 14, 15.
ibid., pp. 12, 13.
Princess is from Albay. She entered the convent
at seventeen and was a nun for twelve years. While in
the convent, she suffered from brain tumor. She went
through operation then radiation. She prayed hard.
Would she stay or not? She was advised to leave and
discern. Every time she makes a visit “parang nalala
itong sakit ko. Pero paglabas ko biglang nawala lahat.”
Her superior said, “parang you are meant for the outside
According to Princess, “parang nakita ko sa mga
pangyayari, through occasions. Lumabas ako. Nagpunta
ako sa Manila. Magulo doon. Iba-ibang trabaho. Tapos
parang tumatakbo talaga ako sa kanya (Nuestra Señora
dela Asuncion). Hindi ako humiwalay sa kanya. From
there nakilala ko si Fr. Lino. Ay Assumption din ‘to?”
At present, she is now teaching in Maragondon
and helps in the Parish during her free time. She
considered her relation with Nuestra Señora dela
Asuncion as part of her journey in life. An interview with Princess, a devotee 05/25/12
NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SOLEDAD DE PORTA VAGA
San Roque, Cavite City, Philippines
The Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga formerly in the Ermita in Cavite Puerto,
now in San Roque, Cavite City is one of the canonically crowned Marian Images in the
She was crowned on November 17, 1978 by Most Reverend Bruno Torpigliani,
Papal Nuncio, through the request of parish priest Msgr. Baraquiel Mojica together with the
Bishop of Imus.12
“Legend narrates one stormy night while at a detachment of the Spanish Guardia Civil
stand post, a dazzling apparition rose from the currents of Cañacao Bay. Suspecting pirates, the
sentinel shouts “Stop!” Instead of stopping, the light proceeds toward him. The sentinel
shouts again “Who is there?” He hears a sweet voice “Little soldier, why halt me on a night so
cold? Let me pass. Dost thou not recognize Mary?”
The next morning fishermen find a framed image of the Virgin near Vaga Gate. They
bring the image to the parish priest who installs it in the parish church.”13
At the back of the
image is this statement: “A doze de Abril 1692 años puzo esta S(antissima) Y M(ilagrosa)
himagen haqui por Juan de Oliba.14
Cavite Puerto had eight churches with San Pedro as parish church established between
1586-1591. The Shrine of the Ntra. Sra. de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, patron of the Puerto and
the province was also inside the walls. On March 10, 1688, a royal cedula created San Roque as
an independent parish with San Roque as patron. After the Second World War, the image was
found in a junk yard. It was brought to the Archbishop Palace in Intramuros.15
Later it was kept
in the vault of the Philippine National Bank.16
In 1945 the eight churches were all destroyed
except for the small church of San Roque outside the wall. The Shrine of Ntra. Sra. de la
Soledad de Porta Vaga was transferred to San Roque by Fr. Pedro Lerena.17
Description of the Virgin
Jose, Regalado Trota. Simbahan: Church Art in Colonial Philippines 1565-1898. Makati, Metro Manila,
Philippines: Ayala Foundation, Inc., 1992, p. 152; Cheer Dance Sing FOR MARY (CDS), p. 62.
Mendoza, Virgilio Saenz. Fiesta 2002 Souvenir Program.
ibid. p.67; also CDS, p. 67.
Festin-Baybay, Dulce, Antonio G. Nazareno and Fr. Virgilio S. Mendoza. For the Virgin, For the City. Unpublished
manuscript. Cavite City, 1998. Also Jose, Regalado Trota. The Eight Churches of Cavite Puerto. Philippine Quarterly
of Culture and Society, Vol. 15, 1987, pp. 311-351.
Barcelona, Mary Anne S. and Consuelo B. Estepa. Ynang Maria: A Celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the
Philippines. Pasig CIty: Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2004. p. 129.
ibid., p. 30. As cited from Porta Vaga Tricentennial Celebration Committee, 1991, 3.
2012 Diocesan Calendar
The Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga is a painting of the Mother of Jesus on
a piece of a tightly woven fine linen. Clad in morning clothes,18
she is on a kneeling position and
The image has metallic decoration.20
Other considered the image to be a
replica of the Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de la Pal oma in San Pedro Real in Madrid, however,
the devotion to Paloma started only in 1787.21
In front of her are the instruments of the Passion
like the pincers representing the tool used to remove the nailed Christ from the Cross.
Accordingly, the original wood frame is encrusted with silver representation of the ladder; the
Cross draped with a shroud, the key and rooster, recalling the denial of St. Peter; the pitcher
from which water was poured to wash Pontius Pilate’s hands; the sponge mounted on a stick
used to wet Jesus’ lips with vinegar; the reed they mocked Him with; mast, symbolizing the
blindfolding of Christ; the pillar where Christ had been tied; the handkerchief used by Veronica
to wipe Christ’s face.22
to ships in trouble
Barcelona, M., Ynang Maria, 2004, p. 129.
Nazareno, Antonio Gonzalez. Porta Vaga De Cavite Puerto. The Lost Gateway of Spain in the Orient: A
Rediscovery. A Master’s Thesis. UP Archaeological Studies Program. Diliman, Quezon City. December 2002.
Jose, 1992, p. 152.
Fiesta 2002 Souvenir Program
Nazareno. 2002, p. 49.
The voyage of galleon Santissima Trinidad took more than five months in 1756. It had to
struggle against terrible weather and moro pirates with 800 passengers. When they finally
reached Cavite Puerto on October 5, the French Beaucort thanked the Nuestra Señora de la
Soledad for her patronage.24
On June 30, 1857, the frigate Lucero ran aground because of a very
strong typhoon off the coast of Albay, and could not extricate itself for twenty days. A print of
the Soledad was taken by a crew and had his fellow sailors to kneel and pray. After sometime,
the frigate was able to sail back to Cavite Puerto safely.25
Tomas Andrade, a Jesuit, wrote a poem entitled Himno a la Virgen de Cavite.
Himno a la Virgen de Cavite26
Reina de Cavite
Por siempre serás;
Es prenda tu nombre
De júbilo y paz.
La nación entera
Con culto filial
Tus glorias pregona
Tu imagen venera
Y en tu honor entona
Un himno triunfal.
Consuelo del justo,
Luz del pecador,
Nuestras penas calma
Y en tu trono augusto
De piadosas almas
ibid., p. 50.
ibid. As cited from Mendoza, Fr. Virgilio Saenz. La Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga. 1988 Fiesta Souvenir
Program Cavite City.
Romanillos, Emmanuel Luis A. Chabacano Studies: Essays on Cavite’s Chabacano Language and Literature. Cavite
Historical Society, 2006, p. 175.
Oyes el clamor.
Como la heroína,
Gozo de Israel,
Eres nuestra gloria,
Que das la victoria
A tu pueblo fiel.
Prez del Serafín
Luz de Filipinas
Oh, Virgen Sagrada
¡Haz que allá en el cielo
Te honremos sin fin!
Reina de Cavite was set into music by Julian Felipe taking only the first paragraph and
some lines from the last paragraph of Andrade’s poem. As cited from Cavite City Fiesta Souvenir
Reina de Cavite Reyna ng Kabite
Por siempre serás Laging tawag sa lahat
Es prenda tu nombre Kapayapaan at galak
De júbilo y paz. Ngalan mo’y siyang pugad.
Madre Inmaculada Inang kalinislinisan
Prez del Serafín Mahal ng serafin
Luz de Filipinas Ilaw ka ng Pilipinas
¡Protégenos sin fin! Tunay kang tanglaw namin!
Luz de Filipinas Ilaw ka ng Pilipinas
¡Protégenos sin fin! Tunay kang tanglaw namin!27
de la Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, Inc.
The organization was founded on August 10, 1998 through the decree of Most Rev.
Manuel C. Sobreviñas, then Bishop of Imus. The founding President was Antonio G. Nazareno,
the Spiritual Director was Fr. Virgilio Saenz Mendoza while Rev. Fr. John Brillantes served as its
As a private association, the Cofradia with a common zeal for the Blessed Mother and
guided by the ideas, teachings and principles of the Catholic Church envisions itself as a guide
and guardian of the devotion to the Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga with its
promotion of relevant and meaningful programs and activities for the devotees of our Blessed
Mother. For its mission, the members of the Cofradia uphold, strengthen and sustain the
devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary particularly under the title Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
de Porta Vaga among the lay faithful in the Roman Catholic Church in order to create an
environment in which people can be involved together liturgically, sacramentally and
Some of the objectives of the Cofradia:
1. fittingly honor our Lord with the promotion and propagation of the devotion to
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga,
2. spur its membership to strive to become more prayerful in their daily lives in
order to foster development of a personal spirituality and prayer life,
3. reach out to that segments of our Society who are alone, abandoned, dejected,
and rejected in order that they may develop civic consciousness, responsibility
and discipline among its members, thus fostering their total personal and
spiritual growth with the realization that the Catholic faith calls them to work for
justice and to defend human dignity,
Romanillos, p. 176.
Cofradia is an association or confraternity of lay people, organized to propagate a particular devotion. A
congregacion (congregation or hermandad (brotherhood) are similar religious organizations. Also samahan. From
Laya, J.C. and Castañeda, L. T. Prusisyon, p. 237.
4. serve as an instrument for the exposure of the devotees of Nuestra Señora de la
Soledad de Porta Vaga in the actual practice of Church Service, drawing them to
responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Catholic
5. wear the Cofradia Medal on specified occasions of the Organization and our
Lady’s Scapular and accomplish the devotion of the Five First Saturdays of the
month, by praying at least five decades of the Rosary, confessing and receiving
Holy Communion including fifteen-minute meditation on the Mysteries of the
Rosary, and on the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin;
6. guide the devotees to holiness by developing personal relationship with Jesus
Christ through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, based on the Scriptures
and the teachings of the Catholic Church, by holding conferences, round table
discussions and seminars for such purpose, and
7. participate actively in the sacramental life of the Church through the monthly
celebration of the Holy Eucharist and novena in honor of Nuestra Señora de la
Soledad de Porta Vaga every first Saturday of the month.
The Cofradia logo includes the “Auspice Maria”
insignia to signify the group’s total consecration to Mary,
our Mother. In the middle is an image of the SOLEDAD
signifying love and ardent devotion to this specific title of
Mary. Above Her shall be the Cross, Crown of Thorns
and Her Sorrowful Immaculate Heart which affirms the
Soledad as the Sorrowful Virgin Mother who silently
accepts with faith the death and sufferings of Her only
Son, Jesus Christ. At the bottom is the name of the
organization: COFRADIA DE LA VIRGEN DE LA SOLEDAD
DE PORTA VAGA.
This seal is incorporated in the group’s
letterhead and all other promotional materials to
establish the identity of the organization.
Cofradia Coat of Arms
The Cofradia Coat of Arms as heralded by Don Giuseppe Ladogana of Albi, France thru the efforts of Rev. Fr. John
Brillantes, Spiritual Adviser of the Cofradia
The Auspice Maria (AM) monogram symbolizes the organization’s love and dedication to
Mary, Our Lady of Solitude. The Crown of Thorns and the Three Nails, which are also found in
front of the Virgin in the original icon, also symbolize the group’s devotion to her Sorrows. The
three stars affirm the Virgin of Solitude’s age-old title as the Luz de Filipinas, while the two
angels supporting the shield likewise depict the angels found in the original icon. The Crown
that surmounts the shield and the inscription below give reference to Her affirmed title as the
Queen of the Province of Cavite.29
Formation and Orientation of Members
For purposes of formation, catechesis and information dissemination, a new member shall be
required to attend a one-day seminar-orientation which shall cover a Mariology Seminar focusing on the
devotion to the Virgen de la Soledad, basic cathechism of the Catholic Church and orientation on the
history of the devotion and the local church of Cavite which shall prepare him/her on the mission that
he/she is to partake in the Cofradia.
http://vsoledaddeportavaga.weebly.com/seal-and-coat-of-arms.html, September 12, 2012, 4:07 pm.
The Cofradia Annual Pabasa is held on a Saturday immediately after Ash Wednesday on
a member’s residence. The members and affiliates gather together and meditate in the
company of the Most Sorrowful Mother, La Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga, on the sacred
passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Part of the observance of the Lenten Season is a pilgrimage on different religious sites to
further expose and immerse the devotees on the various ways and life of other parishes. One
example is a visit to Cagayan Valley particularly on the Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Piat.
After the Good Friday of the parish of San Roque, the Cofradia has the Procession del
Silencio where the participants wear black and walk barefooted following the original icon of
the Holy Virgin of Solitude of Porta Vaga. The devotees believe through this activity they
condole and share in the sorrows of Our Lady, thus putting into heart Christ’s love for us.
Jonnell Ryan Enriquez, president, Cofradia de la Virgen de la Soledad could not
remember the exact beginning of his devotion, except that he was still young. He had his uncle
Antonio Nazareno and Mang Monching De Leon as inspirations. According to Ryan, the Nuestra
Señora loves him which he does in return. He and his family had and still receive countless
blessings from her.31
Marc Dalma heard about the Virgin through his grandmother was has a yearly devotion
to the Nuestra Señora de la Soledad de Porta Vaga and says “Tunay na milagrosa ang Birheng
iyan.” To Marc the Soledad continues to listen and take care of them.32
Soledad Norma Rena developed her devotion to the Virgin during her childhood. She
was born on the feast day of the Soledad. However, her affection became intense when she
and her husband were stranded in Angeles, Pampanga during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. In the
Pabasa is the chanting of the story of Our Lord’s life and passion (known as pasion or pasyon) written in verse.
The pabasa (literally meaning sponsored reading) usually begins on Holy Wednesday and continues day and night.
People take turns until the pabasa is completed which is often on Thursday evening or Friday morning.
The pasyon or passion is a poem of highlights of both the Old and New Testaments that is chanted during Holy
Week. In Tagalog-speaking areas, the pasyon refers to the version written by Fr. Mariano Pilapil about 1814. It has
2,659 stanzas and covers the Genesis (Creation, Adam and Eve, Fall of Man, Noah’s flood), the Birth and Childhood
of Jesus, the story of Jesus’ Public Ministry, the Passion, the Resurrection and the events following it, including the
Death and Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the finding of the true Cross and the last Judgment of Man. The singing
of the pasyon is known as pabasa. From Laya, J.C. and Castañeda, L. T. Prusisyon, pp. 238, 239.
La Luz de Filipinas, Vol. 1, No. 4, April 2009, p. 2.
La Luz de Filipinas, Vol. 2, No. 1, April 2012, p. 2.
course of events, they were separated. She believed that the Virgin was responsible when they
found each other after much worries and apprehensions. Upon their arrival in Cavite, she went
to the church, prayed and expressed her gratitude to the Blessed Virgin.33
Rhoda Sioson described herself as “hindi palasimba”. But on two separate occasions, her
eldest and youngest children got sick. Without money to bring them to a doctor, more so to a
hospital, she prayed and told the Virgin, “Maramdaman ko lang ang kanyang presensiya at
mapagaling ang aking anak ay nangangako na ako na magsisimba at magiging mabuting tao.”
Her children got well. She is now a devotee who believes in miracles.34
According to Jason Anciro, his devotion to the Soledad is a “pamana mula sa aking mga
magulang…kahit na nang magkasakit ang aking ina at tuluyan nang talunin ng karamdaman…
ako ay lalong yumakap sa kanyang makainang pag-aampon…Mahal na Birhen ng Porta Vaga…
salamat po sa inyong walang hanggang pamamatnubay.”35
La Luz de Filipinas, Vol. 2, No. 3, Hunyo 2012.
NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL PILAR
City of Imus, Cavite, Philippines
St. James the Greater, son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the Evangelist,
was preaching on the banks of Ebro River on January 2, 40 when he saw the apparition of the
Blessed Virgin Mary in the flesh. She was standing atop a six-foot pillar of jasper carried by
angels. The Virgin Mary gave James the pillar and a statue of her with the infant Jesus saying:
This place is to be my house, and this image and column shall be the title and
altar of the temple you shall build … and the people of this land will honor greatly
my Son Jesus.
The image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar during the Marian Exhibit 2012
The image of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar was brought to the Philippines from Spain by
Rev. Fr. Martin Lumbreras Sanchez Perez Peralta36
, in 1623. It was first enthroned on a
Also known as Blessed Martin of St. Nicholas, taken from Letter of the Laity To The Holy Father dated November
18, 2012 noted by Rev. Fr. Allan C. Valero; Martin de San Nicolas (1598-1632), a native of Zaragosa, Spain and a
devotee of Our Lady of the Pillar.
OAR (Order of Augustinian Recollects) www.recoletosfilipinas.org 10/02/12, 3:27 pm. Also ORSA (Ordinis
Recollectorum Sancti Augustini). Medina, Isagani R. Cavite Before the Revolution (1571-1896). Diliman, Quezon
City, Philippines. Cavite Historical Society and University of the Philippine Press. 2002:259.
small altar in the Church of San Nicholas de Tolentino at Intramuros, Manila. On May 28, 1694,
the Recollect friars transferred the image of the Virgin of the Pillar to the Casa Hacienda de
Imus specifically in the Enfermeria, a room where priest rest. The plan to construct a church in
the Hacienda in honor of the virgin was approved on March 13, 1766. More than thirteen years
after on September 27, 1779, the church was finished and the image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar
was enthroned in the main altar of the newly constructed place of worship.
When the Parish of Imus separated from the spiritual jurisdiction of the Jesuits of Kawit,
the mother town, on October 3, 1795, Nuestra Señora del Pilar became the patroness.
With the separation of the Diocese of Imus from the Archdiocese of Manila on
November 25, 1961, the Nuestra Señora del Pilar was declared as Titular Patroness and
Protectress of the whole diocese and of the whole Province of Cavite.38
PANALANGIN SA NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL PILAR DE IMUS
Ama naming makapangyarihan,
ipagkaloob Mo sa amin ang lakas
upang alalayan kaming mga
mahihina. Pakundangan sa banal
na panalangin ng Mahal na
Birhen del Pilar, palakasin Mo
ang aming pananampalataya,
patatagin ang aming pag-asa, at
pag-alabin ang aming pag-ibig sa
pamamagitan ni Hesukristo
kasama ng Espiritu Santo
Ama namin…Aba Ginoong Maria…Luwalhati…
Ika-50 taon ng pagkakatatag ng Diyosesis ng Imus
Documents for the Request for the Canonical Coronation of the Image of Nuestra Señora Del Pilar of Imus,
Cavite, Philippines. Signed by Mr. Nestor Crisostomo Victa, Jr., coordinator, the Servants and Handmaids of Our
Lady of the Pillar; Mrs. Ellen Maluto Palma-Sosa, representative of the caretaker family of the Holy Image; and
noted by Rev. Fr. Allan C. Valero, moderator, Team Ministry, Our Lady of the Pillar Parish, Imus Cathedral and
president of the Parish Pastoral Council. November, 2010.
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
Almighty Father, grant us the strength,
To assist us, feeble and weak.
Through the intercession of
Our Lady of the Pillar.
Strengthen our faith,
give us hope and
enkindle our love;
through Jesus Christ,
together with the Holy Spirit
forever and ever.
Here is another prayer to Our Lady of the Pillar taken from Cheer Dance Sing FOR MARY.
A Million Roses for the World, May 2012, page 33:
O Virgin Mother of El Pilar,
Deigning to appear to Thy beloved disciple, St. James, promising him the victory over paganism,
and blessing so abundantly his labors
For the spread of the True Catholic Faith, secure for us also, who are the children of that same
Faith, the victory over our many foes and the paganism that is laying waste the harvest of souls
in our day.
Through the intercession of Thine Apostle, St. James, the “Son of Thunder”, may we as clouds
flying through the air at the least breath of the Holy Ghost, establish everywhere the true
devotion to Thy Immaculate Heart that Jesus wills for the conversion of all sinners.
From Pope John Paul II, Santiago de Compostella, 19 August 1989:
St. James, we need your zeal and courage.
Teach us, apostle and friend of Our Lord, the WAY which leads to him.
Open us, preacher of the lands of Spain, to the TRUTH you learned from the Master’s lips.
Give us, witness of the Gospel, the strength always to love the LIFE>
Place yourself, patron of pilgrims, at the head of our Christian youthful pilgrimage.
And just as, in the past, the peoples walked towards you,
may you be a pilgrim with us when we go to meet all peoples.
With you, St. James, Apostle and Pilgrim, we want to teach the nations of Europe and the world
that Christ is – today and always – the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.
Though the devotion to the Nuestra Señora del Pilar began as early as the Spanish
period, in the 1904 LA VIRGEN MARIA venerada en sus Imagenes Filipinas, the devotion to the
Nuestra Señora del Pilar was included in the list of parishes under the Archdiocese of Manila.
The novena booklet being used at present was reprinted in 1974. It was compiled by Crecencio
C. Forte with the permission of Rev. Fr. Luciano R. Paguiligan, then parish priest of Imus. The
first page contains the prayer of repentance, then the daily opening prayer, followed by the
prayer for the first day of the novena, the daily concluding prayer, until the ninth and final day.
The novena ends with the Hymn to the Virgin of the Pillar. These days the devotees use a
novena featuring daily theme, biblical reading, and a related reflection. The new novena is the
result of the effort of Rev. Fr. Marty Dimaranan, head of the Ministry of Popular Religiosity and
devotion of the Diocese of Imus.
On July 4, 2009 the weekly devotional masses in honor of Virgen del Pilar was
introduced. The eucharistic celebrations are well attended. After the mass, the devotees
form a line on the left side of the church to pray before the image of the Virgen. There was
even that time when Bishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle led the faithful in praying before he incensed
It was on August 12, 2009 at exactly 12:00 noon that the now popular 12-12 Healing
Mass for the sick through the intercession of Nana Pilar had its beginning. The number of
attendees keeps on increasing that tents have to be put up outside the Adoration Chapel. The
Imuseños have several stories to tell regarding those who were healed and experienced
maternal protection from the Virgin. A recent account took place on August 27, 2010 when
seminarians, deacons and priests had their outing in Morong, Bataan. A strong current brought
Rev. Marco Cyril Convento, a deacon, to a deeper part of the sea. In the process of rescuing
him, his companions feared for the worst and started to pray, suddenly they saw Rev. Convento
in a shallow area. When the group decided to go to the nearest church they were informed
that it is also under the patronage of Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
According to Ms. Vida Ramirez Corral, her mother attributed two miracles to Our lady of
the Pillar. The first happened in 2002 when her mother had a stroke and was advised to
undergo a surgery, but the scheduled operation was not pushed through because the bloodclot
became non-threatening. The next incident was in 2003, again her mother had to be operated
on to remove the stones in her gall bladder and for the second time the procedure was not
needed because tests show that not a single stone could be found. On both frightening
situations, the mother of Ms. Corral shared that Nana Pilar visited her and touched the affected
part of her body. The old lady will be turning eighty-eight in December.
There are other amazing stories which are considered miracles by those people who
happened to have experienced them. The narrative could be traced as early as 1882 with
Father Ezequiel Diaz Moreno, OAR, who was said to have asked the intercession of the Virgin of
the Pillar for the control of the cholera epidemic then which had already killed thousands of
Imuseños. Indeed his prayers were answered. Moreover, Fr. Moreno was canonized on
October 11, 1992, a day before the feast of Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
A besomanto was introduced on July 25. The pahalik of the lace attached to the Virgin`s
mantle receives an enthusiastic response from the parishioners. Such gesture resulted to
construction of a permanent stairs for the kissing of the cape of Nuestra Señora del Pilar.
The whole month of May in every parish is a beautiful manifestation of love and
devotion to the Virgin Mary. Little girls and young ladies offer fresh flowers to the Virgin. On
the last day, a procession is held and the luwa is recited. The recitation had its end when Fr.
Jose Sugay left. At present, the luwa or recitation of a poem in salutation to the patroness is
one aspect of the fiesta celebration. The poem was written by then Bishop Luis Antonio Gokim
Tagle and was first recited by Rev. Fr. Ronel Ilano, a native of Imus, to his townmates.
The Palma family is given the privilege of being the recamadero of the image because of
propagating the devotion to the Nuestra Señora del Pilar of the Diocese of Imus. The first
generation caretakers were headed by Don Ambrocio Palma Sr., a trader. The responsibility of
the second generation was handed to Balbino Sta. Ana Palma, son of Ambrocio, Sr. The third
belonged to Pablo Palma while the fourth generation was led by Atty. Ambrocio Palma, Jr. The
fifth and present representative of the caretaker family is Mrs. Ellen Maluto Palma-Sosa. Ellen
works together with the members of a pious organization called Servants and Handmaids of
Our Lady of the Pillar (SHOLPs).
The SHOLPs was established on April 19, 2009. It is a religious organization whose vision
is “A strong devotion to the Virgin of the Pillar among Imuseños, Caviteños and Filipinos.”
Consequently, its mission is the propagation, strengthening and deepening of the devotion.
The name of the group is in reference to the Blessed Virgin`s response to the Archangel Gabriel
in Luke 1:38, “I am the Handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word.” The
Imuseño members of SHOLPs are Vilma Garde; Nelinda Virata; Iris Palma-Sosa; Nikki Pearl
Ramos Aragon; Nestor Crisostomo Victa, Jr.; Jan Gideon Papa Ventura; Kim Anthony Muli
Malonzo; Juan Carlo Bernal Dayrit; Sonny Lee Perero; Lourentino dela Merced Sia; and Patrick
Jay Reyes Ilano. Two other members are from Dasmariñas: Royce Palma Aledia and Juan
Miguel Reyes Brosas. Another devotee, Wenceslao Camingay, is from Gen. Trias.
It was in 1715 when the Augustinian Recollect Friars built its first chapel out of bamboo
and nipa in Tuclong.39
Oftentimes destroyed by typhoon and fire, the friars decided to build a
new chapel made of stone in September 1719. It was constructed between the properties of
Don Juan Paredes and Don Nicolas Bariso. In 1766, by virtue of a royal cedula and a royal
donation of ₧ 4,000.00, the Church of San Juan de Bagumbayan in Manila was destroyed upon
orders of the Archbishop of Manila and the
then acting Gov. Gen. Antonio Rojo as an
after effect of the British Occupation of
Manila. The stones from the demolished
church were brought to Hacienda de Imus
to be used in the construction of a bigger
church in Sitio de Balangon which is
considered to be the site of the present
The royal cedula of 1766 was annulled by
another decree thus the Imus parish was
formally established by virtue of royal order
Fr. Francisco de Santiago, ORSA
served as the first cura colado.
The historic marker of Imus Cathedral
LA INMACULADA CONCEPCION
Tuclong/Toclong later on was called Pueblo Viejo which at present is better known as Bayan Luma or Lumang
Bayan (taken from Documents for the Requests for the Canonical Coronation… specifically titled The Shrine of the
Virgin of the Pillar; also Medina, Isagani R. Cavite Before the Revolution (1571-1896). Diliman, Quezon City,
Philippines. Cavite Historical Society and University of the Philippine Press. 2002:39.
Naic, Cavite, Philippines
With regard to the religious
administration, Naic was a visita from 1693-
1768 under the spiritual jurisdiction of Nuestra
Señora de la Asuncion in Maragondon. The
parish was created independent with the
Immaculate Conception as patroness in 1796.
Miguel de la Cruz was the first parish priest and
Jose de los Reyes, the first cura capellán. When
Fr. Modesto de Castro, a Filipino secular priest
and rector of the Manila Cathedral was assigned
in Naic in 1857, he built a convent made of
stone. It was inaugurated in 1861 by Fr.
The Dominicans took over the
administration of the parish in 1865. They built
a bigger church and convent. A small portion of
the church was partly destroyed during the
Second World War. The church was dedicated
by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, DD on November 17,
1996 during the bi-centennial of the parish and
on December 8, 1996, it was declared a
Diocesan Shrine by Bishop Manuel Sobreviñas.41
The retablo of La Immaculada Concepcion Parish
Interview with Fr. Virgilio Saenz Mendoza, July 12, 2012, Parish Convent.
The image of La Inmaculada
Concepcion in the Parroquia y
Santuario Diocesano De La
Immaculada Concepcion in Naic is
de bulto. It was made out of wood.
NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL ROSARIO
Rosario (Salinas), Cavite, Philippines
According to the narrative of Don Catalino Abueg and his wife, Doña Rosa Ner, it was a
stormy morning on a first Saturday of October 1845, the “captain” of a batel (a boat) and his
crew met strong wind because of a typhoon on their way to Manila. He asked his crew
members to tie themselves to the boat so that they won’t get lost or separated from each
other. The captain went inside to save whatever he could. He saw the framed image of Our
Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. He called his crew and when no one answered him, he prayed:
“Mag-inang Mahal na Nuestra Señora del Rosario, tanang kasakasama
namin sa lahat ng aming paglalakbay, iligtas po Ninyo kami at kahit na po saan
mang panig ng daigdig Ninyo kami ipadpad ng buhay, ay ipinangangako ko po na
Kayo ay aming ipagpapagawa ng isang bisita (tuklong) or a chapel, at sa mga
taong aming dadatnan ay buong puso namin Kayong ilalagak at iiwan.”42
The next morning, Sunday, the batel reached the seashore of Muzon43
, part of Salinas
then. From what remains of their sea vessel the crewmen constructed an altar of bamboo on
the land owned by Teniente Felix Suasa and his wife Sibrena where they later enthroned the
image of Nuestra Señora del Rosario. The Virgin was accepted by the people. After offering
praises and prayers the shipwrecked crew members returned to Mindoro.
At first, the Nuestra Señora del Rosario has her fiesta every first Sunday of October.
However, another feast is celebrated in May, the month of flowers, symbol of her purity.
Though no exact data about the Nuestra Señora del Rosario are found yet, according to
Antonio G. Nazareno44
of Cavite City and president of Antique Dealers Association of the
Philippines and devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the image of Nuestra Señora del Rosario is
a work of Filipino brush. The face of the Virgin is very Filipina which is considered rare in
Philippine Iconography. Furthermore, Nazareno credited the painting to Faustino Quiotang.
Maximo Encarnacio “Nuestra Señora del Rosario” Salinas Fiesta Souvenir Program, 1980.
Muzon is a barrio. The name came from Spanish word “mojon” which refers to a permanent landmark placed to
fix boundaries. Muzon then is a “mojon” of Rancheria of the Hermanos de San Juan de Dios and the private
hacienda of Don Jose Basa y Enriquez, a prominent lawyer and teacher of San Roque, Cavite. (From A Mother to
Love, A History to Remember by Fr. Virgilio Saenz Mendoza,
http://caracolrosariocavite.weebly.com/history.html, October 8, 2012, 1:35 pm.
Mendoza, Virgilio Saenz, Virgen del Rosario; patroness and Mother of our Hometown.
http://caracolrosariocavite.weebly.com/history.html, October 8, 2012, 1:35 pm. Also Laya, Jaime C. and
Castañeda, Lulu Tesoro. Prusisyon: Religious Pageantry in the Philippines. Metropolitan Manila, Philippines:
Cofradia de la Inmaculada Concepcion, 1995, p. 37.
A big church was built for Nuestra Señora del Rosario at the present site in the
Poblacion years after. The church has three bells which are still used today. The first has this
inscription, “Nuestra Señora del Rosario D. 1845”. After nine years two others were added with
this dedication el presbitero Dn. Leonso Basilio en dono cien pesos pos esta campana de
Nuestra Señora del Rosario, D. 1854. The other one has this engraving “S. Mamerto Obispo de
Viena de Salinas Ano D. 1854.”
The Parish of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary is in the Municipality of Rosario45
coastal town in the Province of Cavite. It has an approximate land area of 569 hectares. Rosario
is considered the second smallest town in Cavite. Based on the current land allocation scheme,
Rosario is predominantly urban. The Poblacion where the Parish is measures 15.34 hectares.
Most Rosarians are Roman Catholics.
The feast of Our Lady of Rosary began as early as the 13th
century with the Dominican
Order. Then, in 1572, Pope Pius V attributed the victory of the Christian armies against the
Turks in Lepanto to Our Lady. The feast in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary became universal in
1573 under Gregory XIII.46
The veneration of
Our Lady under the title
of the Rosary in the Philippines began in 1587 when her image was brought to the
It is a belief that the Nuestra Señora del Rosario had a crucial role in the Spanish
victory at sea against the attacks of the Dutch in Manila in 1646.48
As regards, October as a
month of the Rosary, Leo XIII in 1883 had this dedication:
Ibid, Rosario was once a barrio of San Francisco de Malabon (now Gen. Trias). It was originally called Salinas
Marsella. See also Diccionario-Geografico-Estadistico, Historico de las Islas Filipinas, Tomo II, Madrid: Impr. De
J.C. de la Peña, 1850-1851 by Manuel Buzeta and Felipe Bravo, p. 415 & 418.
Peña, Braulio OP. Mary: The Woman of Faith. San Juan Metro Manila: Corp. PP. Dominicos, 1986, p. 78.
Ibid., p. 280.
Laya, Jaime C. Prusisyon, p. 18.
To this heavenly Mother, we have offered the flowers of the month of
May; to her we would also have fruit-bearing October dedicated with a particular
In relation, the Nuestra Señora Virgen Del Rosario De Caracol50
is a devotion participated
in by the townsfolk of Rosario for more than a hundred years already. It is held every “visperas”
of the fiesta. Last October 6, 2012 a Saturday, immediately after the concelebrated morning
mass, the procession started. The bearers of the andas51
are blessed by the priest and then the
replica of the Virgen del Rosario is borne on the shoulders of her devotees.
On the church patio, the
andas is very carefully
placed on a grand dome-
like arco elegantly
decorated with flowers.
Imagine parallel shoulders
dancing and swaying
slowly (one step back, two
forward, left and right in
Ibid., p. 78. As cited from Leo XIII, Augustissimae Virginis, September 12, 1897.
Caracol is the Spanish for snail, it refers to the act of carrying an andas by bearers who, packed close together,
step in unison usually sideways, one step back and two steps forward as cited from Laya, J. C. and Castañeda, L. T.
Prusisyon, p. 236.
Andas is the base on which a processional image is mounted. They can be round, square, rectangular, or
ochovado, usually made of carved wood which maybe guilded, varnished or painted and often further enhanced
with silver-plated brass appliqués or entirely covered with panels of the same metal. Andas are mounted on long
poles (pingga) which are borne on the shoulders of bearers. ibid.
Ibid., p. 37.
Ahead of the venerated image were the acolytes carrying the ceriales.53
followed by a brass band then by the faithful wearing various colorful uniforms like the Ave
Maria members in pink, Nuestra Señora Virgen del Santissimo Rosario in green, Knights of
Columbus in white, the members of Senior Citizen Associations of Wawa II and III in orange
while the youth group is in black with an intriguing acronym SPOILED emblazoned on their shirt.
Others called themselves SACTODO Federation and Mga Lingkod Bayan. Four of the Lingkod
Bayan members were pushing big green plastic trash bins, some have hard brooms and dustpan
and the rest have sticks used in picking up the plastic and candy wrappers along the route.
Moreover, there are the tricycle drivers, motor bikers and an old man with portable oxygen
tank on a wheelchair. Another lady is on a wheelchair too and there is a blind young man
holding on the shoulders of another youth carrying a chubby and smiling Santo Niño. I looked
at the Child Jesus thrice because every time He is held up and down, left to right, He looks very
happy as if he is alive. I could have been affected by the simplicity of the people of Rosario in
expressing their faith with the Lord God through the intercession of Virgen del Rosario.
Along the route of the procession, the caridad54
is still observed. There are families and
establishments which prepared something for those who joined the caracol. Since 2002, Ms.
Ceriales is a set of two candlesticks and a crucifix on long poles. Antique ceriales are normally of elaborately
wrought silver plate and are used to lead processions and other church ceremonials. Ibid, p. 237.
Caridad is the free food and/or drinks offered to procession participants, fiesta goers, penitents, and ordinary
passers-by. Ibid., pp. 236-237.
Jade Jacinto has one thousand plastic glasses and more than ten containers of purified drinking
water to give away. Others distributed orange drinks, ensaimadas and candies.
The celebration in honor of the Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario de Caracol lasts
for more than five hours. It is a long land and fluvial procession from the Poblacion (specifically
from the church) to Barangay Wawa. From Wawa the image is boarded to a decorated fishing
boat to be brought to Barangay Muzon to commemorate her first arrival. Afterwards the
venerated icon is returned to the parish for another Eucharistic celebration.
Interestingly, inspite of the fact that hundreds sway and a few others dance with gusto
to the tune of fandanggo played by the bands, still the overall activity manifests solemnity and
certain dignity. Is it because of the slow tempo of the movement or is it a religious ritual taken
seriously by the faithful who are grateful to have received blessings or whose petitions were
granted through the intercessions of Virgen del Rosario?
La Inmaculada Concepcion
Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines
The Royal Order creating the Parroquia De Perez-Dasmariñas was signed by Queen
Isabella II on October 21, 186655
under the administration of the Order of Recollects of Saint
The parish was placed under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception whose
image was sculpted by Esperidion Arevalo of Sta. Cruz, Manila. It was installed in 1867.
On December 7, 2002, Most Rev. Bishop Emeritus Manuel Sobreviñas, DD, led the
Symbolical Coronation of the Blessed Virgin during a concelebrated mass. The next day,
December 8, Most Rev. Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, DD, was the principal celebrant during the
Dedication of the Church themed Si Maria, La ‘Purissima’ Inmaculada Concepcion, Reyna ng
Since his elementary days, Royce Palma Aledia has been a devotee of La Inmaculada
Concepcion already because of his maternal grandmother, Lola Rosalina. “Lagi niya akong
kinakaladkad…kung Flores de Mayo, sabi niya, halika mag-aalay tayo…Mas lalong lumalim nang
nag-aral ako sa Colegio de San Juan de Letran, kasi andoon lahat yung nourishment as
Catholic.” He was even encouraged by the Fr. Rector. Though he did not become a priest, his
family allows him to be active in being a member of Knights of Columbus and Immaculate
Conception Parish Choir. He also became a church activity director for years.
Medina, Isagani R. Cavite Before the Revolution (1571-1896). Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press and
Cavite Historical Society, 2002, p. 259.
Bernad, Miguel A. SJ. The Christianization of the Philippines: Problems and Perspectives. Manila: The Filipiniana
Book Guild, 1972, p. 237.
Inside the church, Mr. Royce Aledia (Left in striped t-shirt), caretaker
of La Inmaculada Concepcion’s garments and accessories during the interview
05/24/12. With him are two other young devotees.
From year 2002 to date, Royce has been taking care of the embroidered garments and
accessories of the Blessed Virgin. The Aledia family owns an image and it is designated as the
They had the image carved because of the Virgin’s intercessions on their lives
specifically in the early morning of November 22, 2002. Their house was spared from burning
when others were leveled to the ground. Another miraculous event took place in Medical
Center Manila where his father was confined and almost died, but for the “estampita” of Mama
Mary and a small bottle of water which he doused to his father’s face. The old man opened his
eyes and said, “Ano ba? Ingay nyo.” When his father was
asked what happened to him, he answered, “Wala, inantok
lang ako. Nakatulog lang ako.”
The doctor questioned Royce, “Ano ang ginawa mo?”
Royce said, “Binusan ko lang po nito.” “Ano yan?”, the
doctor asked. “Tubig po galing ng Lourdes.” And the doctor
declared, “wala na siya kanina, e.” Royce’s father lived for
ten years more.
The viajera of the Parish of Dasmariñas during the Vicarial Golden Jubilee
NUESTRA SEÑORA DE GUIA
A viajera is a replica image that is brought to activities held outside its home church. It serves as proxy of the
original image. The original remains on the altar except on the feast of the saint, itself when it is taken down.
(Prusisyon, 1995, p. 239.)
Magallanes, Cavite, Philippines
The image of the Nuestra Señora de Guia, which is under the official advocacy of La
Purisima Concepcion, is the earliest Philippine image of Our Lady in the Philippines having been
found atop a pandan plant growing by the bayside at Ermita, Manila in 1571.58
A church was
built on the site where it was found59
and where it is enshrined, in the Ermita Church. Believed
to be of European origin, the small carved wooden image of Nuestra Señora de Guia could have
been left by passing missionaries.60
As regards the Nuestra Señora de Guia of Magallanes, Cavite, the old image is “yari sa
garing”, made of ivory,61
but it disappeared. The present image is made of wood. It has
undergone repair. The base was changed from a cloud-like to a pandan pedestal. Seemingly,
the present image of Our lady is “selosa” or jealous of the viajera because the replica was
burned before it can be brought out for the Flores de Mayo festivity. To quote Fr. Alain
Kasi nang nagpagawa ako ng biyahera, gusto ko ilalabas lang siya (the present
image of Nuestra Señora de Guia) kapag piyesta. E, nasunog yung biyahera bago
mag-Flores de Mayo. Parang gusto nyang siya na rin ang lumalabas.
Magallanes was created by a Royal Order on September 10, 1880. It was the last town
founded in Cavite in the 19th
Because of the intense devotion of the people to the
Nuestra Señora de Guia which the king of Spain proclaimed as the Patroness of Manila in 1758,
it was also bestowed as the Patroness of Magallanes. The Parish of Magallanes was established
on March 3, 1882 based on a “Real Orden” and approval of Msgr. Pedro Payo, Archbishop of
Manila. However, a marker on the left side of the church states “Parroquia De Magallanes
Cavite Fundada En El Año 1883.”
The parish was at first in the care of the Recollects of Maragondon. In 1885, Fr. Calixto
Villafranca, a Filipino, became the permanent cura parocco. However in 1896, Fr. Villafranca
was transferred to Maragondon. As a consequence, for more than half a century the town of
Magallanes had masses and baptism only every fiesta.63
The fervent spirit of the faithful
Interview with Fr. Alain Manalo on May 25, 2012, Convento of Nuestra Señora de Guia Parish.
Laya, Jaime C., Prusisyon, p. 133. Also Medina, Isagani R. Cavite Before the Revolution (1571-1896), Diliman,
Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press and the Cavite Historical Society, 2002, p. 46.
English, Leo James. Tagalog-English Dictionary. Mandaluyong City: Cacho Hermanos, Inc., 1986, p. 516.
Medina, p. 256-257.
May 25, 2012 interview with Fr. Alain Manalo.
gradually weakened but for the effort of Manang Henia (Efigenia Mendoza Ocsit).64
the rosary every Sunday which served as their Sunday Service.65
Though unschooled, Manang Henia learned how
to read and write. She begged for donations as far as
Pampanga and Quezon to replace the lost image of Our
Lady of Way. With the amount she had a new iconmade.
Ascending the belfry, she rang the bell to summon the
faithful of Magallanes and together they enthroned the
image. To sustain the faith, she conducted catechism
among the children, had the Flores de Mayo and
established the CORAZON which at present is known as
Apostles of Prayer. Until her last days, Manang Henia,
“Ang bayani ng Simbahang Katoliko” sa Magallanes had a
deed of donation. The site of the Catholic church as well
as the Catholic cemetery was her inheritance.
The people of Magallanes believe that the Nuestra Señora de Guia continuously guides
them. From the town known as a place of violence, Magallanes is now a town of peace and
Fr. Alain is admirably promoting the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After the
mass, the parishioners sing the song composed by a nun. They know the lyrics of the hymn
with their eyes closed. Gradually, the faithful are becoming more alive, enthusiastic and
generous. More fresh flowers are offered to the Blessed Virgin during the Flores de Mayo. The
Virgin has now three sets of crown. Unlike before, the Lady has a list of donors for her
garments until 2015 for her feast day.
The usual one Sunday mass is presently celebrated thrice. When asked what could be
the reasons for the resurgence of attendance, the good and energetic parish priest mentioned
that he chose to stay even after the usual three year period. He is now on his ninth year as
parish priest and he thinks that the continuity of nine years is most healing for them. “It is
significant to the people kasi they felt, training ground sila at ang feeling nila ito’y parusahan.”
Another is his homilies. They are straight to the point and touch the faithful’s lives. As a
shepherd, he also prays from the heart. After the mass, people see him lighting a candle,
praying to the Nuestra Señora de Guia and standing outside the church to greet and be greeted
by the parishioners.
1996 Fiesta Souvenir Program as cited from Pistang Ipinagdiriwang, Kasaysayang inaalala ni Padre Virgilio Saenz-
May 25, 2012 interview with Fr. Alain Manalo.
De, Padua, Salud A. Si Manang Henia. 1996 Fiesta Souvenir Program.
Of equal importance is his being a formator during his seminary days where he was able
to emphasize unity. To illustrate, he had this statement during the interview: “Gusto ko…yung
may debosyon na hindi sosolohin ng organisasyon yang Birhen na parang kanila lang.”
Awit sa Nuestra Señora de Guia67
May isang ina naghahatid ng pag-asa at saya kung may hapis
Sa paglalakbay siya’y gumagabay sa ating pag-uwi may awit siyang hatid.
Tanglaw ka namin, kaming nasa dilim at kung may unos ‘yong yakap ang angkin.
Sugat namin ay hagka’t…pagalingin turo mo’t gabay aming baon at aliw
O Inang mahal sa’yo ilalapit ang naisin naming mabuhay ng mat’wid
Sa iyong anak na nagbigay buhay, baguhin ang aming pusong matampuhin.
O Inang Maria puspos ka ng biyaya, ilakip sa dasal ang bayan mong mahal
Sa lupit ng buha… kami’y bigyang tatag, muhi sa aming sala gawing bagong lakas.
Nuestra Señora de Guia, Inang sinisinta, Inang dinarangal
Nuestra Señora de Guia, dinggin ang dasal ng bayang sa ‘yo’y nagmamahal
O Inang Maria puspos ka ng biyaya, ilakip sa iyong dasal ang bayan kong mahal
OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines
Description of the Virgin
The Blessed Virgin Mary
wears a white garment from
head to toe with a sky blue
sash on the waist. She has a
crown of 12 stars, a rosary
hanging on her arm and a rose
on her foot. She appeared to
Bernadette Soubirous at
Lourdes, France from February
11 – July 16, 1858.
On January 18, 1862
the apparition was declared
authentic by the Bishop of
Tarbes. In 1890, the liturgical
feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
was established for February
11. It was approved by Pope
Leo XII and first granted to the
Diocese of Tarbes. On
November 13, 1907, Pope St.
Pius X proclaimed that the
feast be observed throughout
the universal Church.68
The Capuchins bought a
piece of land in Tagaytay on
October 14, 1938. A small
wooden house was built to be
the resthouse of Capuchin
missionaries. Seeing the need of the people for spiritual nurturing, the Capuchins opened a
public oratory for the faithful of Tagaytay to take part in the liturgical services of the friars.69
The Archbishop of Manila did not only grant the permission but suggested the establishment of
Cheer Dance Sing FOR MARY. Makati City: Mary’s Way Foundation, Inc., 2012, p. 39.
A copy of Golden Years. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Tagaytay City 1941-1991. Cited from “History of Our Lady of
Lourdes Parish Tagaytay City.”
a parish in the newly created City of Tagaytay.70
The good Fathers accepted the challenge,
completed the requirements and the decree of erection of the new parish in Tagaytay City was
issued on June 27, 1940. The parish was inaugurated on August 4, 1940. Fr. Rogelio Bedoña,
became the first parish priest.
Panalangin sa Mahal na Birhen ng Lourdes
O Birheng kalinis-linisan, Mahal na Birhen ng Lourdes. Adhikaing gawin ang nobenang
ito nang lubos na kataimtiman, sa pagtalima sa tawag mo sa lahat ng iyong mga anak,
lumuluhod kami sa iyong paanan upang dinggin ang iyong tinig, upang isiwalat sa iyo ang aming
mga kailangan at upang hingin ang iyong tulong... (banggitin ang pansariling kahilingan)
Aba Ginoong Maria...
Birhen ng Lourdes, ipanalangin mo kami.
Panalanging Pangmadla sa Birhen ng Lourdes
O kalinis-linisang Birhen ng Lourdes, isinasamo namin sa iyo na kami’y tulungan, upang
ang aming pananampalataya ay lumago araw-araw, at kami’y maging kasangkapan ng
pagbabalik-loob ng mga nadidiliman at nang sa ganyo’y aming maipalaganap ang kaharian ng
Diyos sa balat ng lupa.
Palayasin mo Mahal na Birhen, ang espiritu ng kamalian sa lahat ng mamamayan ng
aming bansa, lalo na sa Lunsod na ito ng Tagaytay upang ang lahat ay mabuhay ayon sa
pananampalatayang Kristiyano at manatiling nakikiisa sa Iglesia Katolika hanggang kamatayan.
Aba Ginoong Maria...
Mahal na Birhen ng Lourdes, ipanalangin mo kami.
Panalangin para sa mga may sakit
O mapagkalingang Birhen ng Lourdes, kaming mga dumaranas ng karamdaman ay
dumudulog sa iyo, sapagkat ikaw ang taga-aliw ng mga nagdadalamhati at kalusugan ng mga
Commonwealth Act No. 338 created the City of Tagaytay. The Philippine Index. Millenium Edition. Vol. 1, No. 1.
2001, p. 64.
Order of Friars Minor Capuchin from Kahapong kay Yaman: Isang Sulyap sa Makulay na Kasaysayan ng Simbahan
Katoliko sa Cavite. Inihanda nina: Fr. Virgilio Saenz Mendoza at Br. Wilson Que, p. 10.
may sakit. Lubos kaming nagtitiwala sa iyo dahil sa marami’t mahimalang pagpapagaling na
ginawa mo sa Lourdes at sa buong mundo.
Taglay ang maalab na pananampalataya at pamimintuho, kami’y buong kababaang loob
na sumasamo sa iyo para sa aming kapatid na may karamdaman: (banggitin ang pangalan).
Yamang tunay na marami ang gumaling dahil sa pamimintuho sa iyo, mangyaring
gumawa ka ng isa pa at iligtas itong mahal namin sa buhay. Ilayo mo siya sa panganib at
ibangon buhat sa banig ng karamdaman upang siya’y makabalik sa paglilingkod sa iyong Anak
na nabubuhay at naghahari magpakailan man.
Birhen ng Lourdes, ipanalangin mo kami.
Taga-aliw ng nagdadalamhati, ipanalangin mo kami.
Kalusugan ng mga may sakit, ipanalangin mo kami.
Kalinis-linisang Reyna ng kalangitan, sa pamamagitan ng pag-ibig na ipinamalas sa
daigdig, at sa pagpapakita mo sa Grotto ng Lourdes, ipinadama mo sa mapalad na batang si
Bernadita ang galak na makalangit isinasamo namin na hatian mo kami sa galak na yaon. At
gaya ng pagpapabukal mo sa masagana at nagbibigay kalusugang tubig sa Grotto, ipakiusap mo
kay Jesus na iyong anak, na padaluyin sa aming kaluluwa ang matamis at masaganang tubig ng
grasya, at nang ang aming mga puso ay maging malaya upang umibig at magpahalaga para sa
mga bagay na maka-langit. Siya nawa.
The researchers on a tour with a Capuchin Brother
OUR LADY OF LA SALETTE
Biga I, Silang, Cavite, Philippines
On September 19, 1846 while tending cows73
Melanie Galvat Mathieu and Maximin Giraud encountered a glowing globe of light and a
beautiful woman sitting on a rock appeared. She was weeping because according to her the
offenses of men will result in calamities, including famine and disease. The beautiful lady
entrusted the two children with a secret each and encouraged them to pray.74
19, 1851, Msgr. Philibert de Bruillard, Bishop of Grenoble, issued a pastoral letter which upheld
the authenticity of the apparition. The appearance of Our Lady of La Salette is one of the
universally recognized apparitions.75
Description of the Virgin
“The clothing of the Most Holy Virgin was silver and quite brilliant. It was quite
intangible. It was made up of light and glory. Sparkling and dazzling. There is no
expression nor comparison to be found on earth. The Most Holy Virgin had a yellow
“What am I saying, yellow? She had a pinafore more brilliant than several suns
put together. It was not a tangible material; it was composed of glory, and the glory
was scintillating, ravishingly beautiful.
“The crown of roses which she placed on her head was so beautiful, so brilliant,
that it defies imagination. The different colored roses were not of this earth; it was a
joining together of flowers which crowned the Most Holy Virgin.
Barcelona, Mary Anne and Consuelo B. Estepa PhD. Ynang Maria A Celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the
Philippines. Manila: Anvil Publishing, Inc. 2004, p. 26. Also Cheer Dance Sing FOR MARY. A Million Roses for the
World, May 2012, however mentioned sheep on p. 47.
Coyle, Kathleen. Mary in the Christian Tradition from a Contemporary Perspective. Manila: Logos Publication,
Inc. 1998, p. 106.
“The Most Holy Virgin was tall and well proportioned. She seemed so light that
a mere breath could have stirred her, yet she was motionless and perfectly balanced.
Her face was majestic, imposing. The voice of the Beautiful Lady was soft. It was
enchanting, ravishing, warming to the ears.
“The eyes of the majestic Mary appeared thousands of times more beautiful
than the rarest brilliants, diamonds, and precious stones. They shone like two suns; but
they were soft, softness itself, as clear as a mirror. The Holy Virgin had a most pretty
cross hanging around her neck…was crying nearly the whole time she was speaking to
us. Her tears flowed gently, one by one, down to her knees, then, like sparks of light
they disappeared. They were glittering and full of love. I would have liked to comfort
her and stop her tears.”76
It is seen that at La Salette, the Blessed Virgin Mary wore the chains to stand for
penitence, the cross for the Eucharistic sacrifice and the roses for the Rosary.77
the garlands of roses have come to represent the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious
Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.78
The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette was a promise fulfilled by Fr. Fred Julien,
M.S. Fr. Julien promised Our Lady to erect a shrine in her honor should she help him survive
the battle among US paratroopers and Filipino guerrillas against the Japanese soldiers that
morning on February 23, 1945. He was among the internees in Los Baños, Laguna. Miracles
happened. Not one of the two bishops, two hundred forty three priests, nuns, brothers and
more than two thousand Protestant missionaries were killed.79
He was deported to United States of America (USA). After seventeen years Fr. Julien
was allowed to retun to the Philippines by Fr. Alphonse Dutil, the Superior General, but it was
Fr. Paul Douillar, the Vice Provincial who told him: “You may go to Silang to fulfil your promise
but we can give you neither money nor help.”80
The life-size statue of Our Weeping Mother as part of the National Shrine of Our Lady of
La Salette in Biga I, Silang, Cavite was sculpted out of large pieces of granite by two stonecutters
On September 10, 1968 the sculpture was finished and the next day September
11, the novena to Mary, Queen of La Salette, began.82
CDS., p. 47.
Barcelona and Estepa, p. 28.
ibid., p. 26.
A pamphlet: La Salette Shrine in Silang…A Promise Fulfilled by Fred Julien, M.S., published by La Salette Network
(LSN) Jose R. Nacu, M.S. AC 59 Quezon City, Philippines, p. 3. no p.d.
ibid., p. 4.
ibid., pp. 4-5.
Accordingly, the exact measurements of the shrine in La Salette France were obtained
The Shrine was constructed as a result of fund-raising activities by Fr. Julien, his
confrere, his relatives, friends, the faithful, and the pilgrims. At first they had a plant nursery
eventually generating 10,000 flower pots and other plants. And then in 1965, 45,000 letters
were sent to every priest in the USA requesting for a dollar from each. There were also
anniversary gifts, rummage sales and card parties. All in all, Fr. Julien was able to raise
$23,000.00 at that time, an amount enough to construct a multi-purpose one-storey building
consisting of a chapel, a gift shop, a storage room, a cooperative store, and Fr. Julien’s room.
The church was built after the second visit of Fr. Julien with Teodoro Similin, an
employee, to USA to sell wood carvings.84
Upon their return, a second-storey to the multi-
purpose building was added. There was now a conference room, four bedrooms, a dining room,
and a kitchen which resulted to more number of retreatants and tourists. The income made
from retreats, nursery and solicitation letters to local and foreign benefactors enabled the good
fathers to construct a church and convert the old chapel into a larger gift shop. The head of
the FEATI University architectural department prepared a plan and a scale-model of the church.
The labor was done by regular employees of La Salette while each seminarian dag a part of the
foundation under the direction of Fr. Santiago Ner, Director of the Scholastics then. Over all, a
foreman assigned by Anton Kho, owner of ACK Construction Company and close friend of La
Salette, supervised the work.
The blessing of the La Salette Shrine took place on September 19, 1968.85
was cut by a 97 year old woman of Silang. The day turned out to be momentous and significant.
There were more than 500 people who participated, sang and prayed.86
It is 40 kms. from
Manila en route to Tagaytay.
At the beginning, the Sunday
masses were celebrated under
the mango tree at the La
Salette property entrance. On
the fifth week and for the next
two years, an 18 x 24 feet open
air pavilion with few benches
on the dirt floor served as
chapel. As mentioned already,
ibid., p. 6.
ibid., pp. 6-7.
ibid., pp. 5-6.
Ibid., back cover.
fund-raising activities were mapped out to generate money and build a church which at present
has been expanded into a national shrine. Today daily masses are offered. Also there is a
regular schedule of confession.
The fiesta is looked forward to and celebrated every September 19. A day before the
feast, September 18, a final novena-mass is held at five in the afternoon. It is followed by floral
offering of the devotees and the religious after which an evening procession is joined in by the
community and pilgrims coming from nearby towns and other parts of the country. First in the
long line of the procession is the band followed by the acolytes carrying the Cross and the
candles, the priests, brothers, and sisters. At the end is the carroza of the Virgin decorated with
fresh roses and casa blancas. The carroza is well-lit.87
It is powered by a small generator.
While walking, the people recite prayers and alternately sing hymnals. People in Barangay Biga
I lined up on both sides of the road to watch, enjoy and reflect on the procession. On the day of
the fiesta itself, another procession is held featuring a caracol. Women groups sway to the
tune played by the banda.
Memorare to Our Lady of La Salette88
Kasaysayan the story of the Filipino People Processions and Pageants by Jaime C. Laya, 1998. Philippines: Asia
Publishing Co. Ltd., Vol. IV, pp. 44-45.
Cheer Dance Sing FOR MARY. A Million Roses for the World, May 2012, p. 47
Remember, Our Lady of La Salette, true Mother of Sorrows,
the tears you shed for us on Calvary.
Remember also the care you have taken to keep us faithful to
Christ, your Son.
Having done so much for your children, you will not now abandon us.
Comforted by this consoling thought, we come to you pleading,
despite our infidelities and ingratitude.
Virgin of Reconciliation,
do not reject our prayers, but intercede for us, obtain for us the
grace to love Jesus above all else.
May we console you by a holy life and so come to share the eternal life
Christ gained by his cross. Amen.
The “Memorare” as a prayer is attributed to St. Bernard, but seemingly it is a part of a
long prayer first recorded at the end of the 15th
century (1489) by Nicholas Salicetus in his
Anthidotarius Animae. It became popular because of the enthusiasm of Claude Bernard, known
as the “poor priest” (1588-1641).89
Peña, Braulio, O.P. Mary: The Woman of Faith. San Juan, Metro Manila: Corp. PP. Dominicos. 1986, p.