The Virgins of Cavite: History, Art and Religiosity

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The Virgins of Cavite: History, Art and Religiosity

  1. 1. NUESTRA SEÑORA DE CANDELARIA Silang, Cavite, Philippines Origin 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 The Parish 1 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. 2 ibid., p. 75, # 65. 1
  2. 2. 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 3 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 ibid. As cited from Mendoza, Fr. Virgilio Saenz. Parish of Silang: A Brief History. 2
  3. 3. Maragondon, Cavite The Image 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 missing fingers7 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 Nakatayo.9 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 A Devotee 7 Nuestra Señora Dela Asuncion. 2010, pp. 8, 15, 20. 8 ibid., p. 16. 9 ibid., pp. 8, 14, 15. 10 ibid., pp. 12, 13. 3
  4. 4. 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 world.” 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 4
  5. 5. 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 Philippines.11 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 Origin “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 11 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. 12 Mendoza, Virgilio Saenz. Fiesta 2002 Souvenir Program. 13 ibid. p.67; also CDS, p. 67. 14 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. 15 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. 16 ibid., p. 30. As cited from Porta Vaga Tricentennial Celebration Committee, 1991, 3. 17 2012 Diocesan Calendar 5
  6. 6. 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 contemplating.19 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 “Intervention”23 to ships in trouble 18 Barcelona, M., Ynang Maria, 2004, p. 129. 19 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. 20 Jose, 1992, p. 152. 21 Fiesta 2002 Souvenir Program 22 ibid. 23 Nazareno. 2002, p. 49. 6
  7. 7. 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 A Poem 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 24 ibid., p. 50. 25 ibid. As cited from Mendoza, Fr. Virgilio Saenz. La Virgen de la Soledad de Porta Vaga. 1988 Fiesta Souvenir Program Cavite City. 26 Romanillos, Emmanuel Luis A. Chabacano Studies: Essays on Cavite’s Chabacano Language and Literature. Cavite Historical Society, 2006, p. 175. 7
  8. 8. Oyes el clamor. Como la heroína, Gozo de Israel, Eres nuestra gloria, Princesa divina, Que das la victoria A tu pueblo fiel. Madre Inmaculada Prez del Serafín Luz de Filipinas Oh, Virgen Sagrada ¡Haz que allá en el cielo Te honremos sin fin! A Song 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 Program 2002, 8
  9. 9. 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. 9
  10. 10. 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 Cofradia28 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 Spiritual Adviser. 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 catechetically. 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, 27 Romanillos, p. 176. 28 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. 10
  11. 11. 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 Community, 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. Cofradia Logo 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 11
  12. 12. 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 Symbolism 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. Devotion Annual Pabasa30 29 http://vsoledaddeportavaga.weebly.com/seal-and-coat-of-arms.html, September 12, 2012, 4:07 pm. 12
  13. 13. 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. Lenten Pilgrimage 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. Procession 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. Testimonies 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 30 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. 31 La Luz de Filipinas, Vol. 1, No. 4, April 2009, p. 2. 32 La Luz de Filipinas, Vol. 2, No. 1, April 2012, p. 2. 13
  14. 14. 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 33 ibid. 34 ibid. 35 La Luz de Filipinas, Vol. 2, No. 3, Hunyo 2012. 14
  15. 15. NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL PILAR City of Imus, Cavite, Philippines Origin 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 , OAR37 , in 1623. It was first enthroned on a 36 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. 37 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. 15
  16. 16. 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 Prayer 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 magpasawalang hanggan, Amen. Ama namin…Aba Ginoong Maria…Luwalhati… Ika-50 taon ng pagkakatatag ng Diyosesis ng Imus (1961-2011) 38 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. 16
  17. 17. 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. Amen. (English translation) 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. Amen. 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. 17
  18. 18. 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. Popular Devotion 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. Mass 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 the image. 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 18
  19. 19. 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. Besomanto 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. Luwa 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 Recamadero 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 19
  20. 20. 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. The Church 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 church. The royal cedula of 1766 was annulled by another decree thus the Imus parish was formally established by virtue of royal order of 1795.40 Fr. Francisco de Santiago, ORSA served as the first cura colado. The historic marker of Imus Cathedral LA INMACULADA CONCEPCION 39 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. 40 ibid. 20
  21. 21. Naic, Cavite, Philippines The Parish 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. Mariano Gomez. 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 Description 41 Interview with Fr. Virgilio Saenz Mendoza, July 12, 2012, Parish Convent. 21
  22. 22. 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 22
  23. 23. Origin 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. The Church 42 Maximo Encarnacio “Nuestra Señora del Rosario” Salinas Fiesta Souvenir Program, 1980. 43 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. 44 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. 23
  24. 24. 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 , a 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. Devotion 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 Archipelago.47 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: 45 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. 46 Peña, Braulio OP. Mary: The Woman of Faith. San Juan Metro Manila: Corp. PP. Dominicos, 1986, p. 78. 47 Ibid., p. 280. 48 Laya, Jaime C. Prusisyon, p. 18. 24
  25. 25. 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 tender devotion.49 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 between)52 to fandanggo music. 49 Ibid., p. 78. As cited from Leo XIII, Augustissimae Virginis, September 12, 1897. 50 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. 51 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. 52 Ibid., p. 37. 25
  26. 26. Ahead of the venerated image were the acolytes carrying the ceriales.53 They were 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. 53 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. 54 Caridad is the free food and/or drinks offered to procession participants, fiesta goers, penitents, and ordinary passers-by. Ibid., pp. 236-237. 26
  27. 27. 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? 27
  28. 28. La Inmaculada Concepcion Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines History 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 Augustine.56 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 Pamilyang Dasmarineño. Intervention 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. 55 Medina, Isagani R. Cavite Before the Revolution (1571-1896). Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press and Cavite Historical Society, 2002, p. 259. 56 Bernad, Miguel A. SJ. The Christianization of the Philippines: Problems and Perspectives. Manila: The Filipiniana Book Guild, 1972, p. 237. 28
  29. 29. 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 viajera.57 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 57 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.) 29
  30. 30. Magallanes, Cavite, Philippines Origin 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 Manalo, 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. The Parish Magallanes was created by a Royal Order on September 10, 1880. It was the last town founded in Cavite in the 19th century.62 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 58 Interview with Fr. Alain Manalo on May 25, 2012, Convento of Nuestra Señora de Guia Parish. 59 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. 60 Laya, ibid. 61 English, Leo James. Tagalog-English Dictionary. Mandaluyong City: Cacho Hermanos, Inc., 1986, p. 516. 62 Medina, p. 256-257. 63 May 25, 2012 interview with Fr. Alain Manalo. 30
  31. 31. gradually weakened but for the effort of Manang Henia (Efigenia Mendoza Ocsit).64 They prayed 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 order.66 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. 64 1996 Fiesta Souvenir Program as cited from Pistang Ipinagdiriwang, Kasaysayang inaalala ni Padre Virgilio Saenz- Mendoza. 65 May 25, 2012 interview with Fr. Alain Manalo. 66 De, Padua, Salud A. Si Manang Henia. 1996 Fiesta Souvenir Program. 31
  32. 32. 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 67 http://nuestrasenoradeguia.com/about3.html 32
  33. 33. 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 Parish 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 68 Cheer Dance Sing FOR MARY. Makati City: Mary’s Way Foundation, Inc., 2012, p. 39. 69 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.” 33
  34. 34. 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, OFM Cap.71 became the first parish priest. Mga Panalangin72 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 70 Commonwealth Act No. 338 created the City of Tagaytay. The Philippine Index. Millenium Edition. Vol. 1, No. 1. 2001, p. 64. 71 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. 72 A handout. 34
  35. 35. 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 35
  36. 36. Origin 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 On September 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 pinafore. “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. 73 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. 74 ibid., CDS. 75 Coyle, Kathleen. Mary in the Christian Tradition from a Contemporary Perspective. Manila: Logos Publication, Inc. 1998, p. 106. 36
  37. 37. “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 More so, the garlands of roses have come to represent the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.78 The Shrine 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 from Manila.81 On September 10, 1968 the sculpture was finished and the next day September 11, the novena to Mary, Queen of La Salette, began.82 76 CDS., p. 47. 77 Barcelona and Estepa, p. 28. 78 ibid., p. 26. 79 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. 80 ibid., p. 4. 81 ibid., p.5. 82 ibid., pp. 4-5. 37
  38. 38. Accordingly, the exact measurements of the shrine in La Salette France were obtained and copied.83 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 The ribbon 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. Devotion Mass 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, 83 ibid., p. 6. 84 ibid., pp. 6-7. 85 ibid., pp. 5-6. 86 Ibid., back cover. 38
  39. 39. 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. Fiesta 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 87 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. 88 Cheer Dance Sing FOR MARY. A Million Roses for the World, May 2012, p. 47 39
  40. 40. 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 89 Peña, Braulio, O.P. Mary: The Woman of Faith. San Juan, Metro Manila: Corp. PP. Dominicos. 1986, p. 40

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