61st Virgen delos Remedios canonical coronation anniv

Thousands of Marian devotees are expected to flock in the 61st Canonical Coronation anniversary of Virgen Delos Remedios, dubbed the ‘Patroness of the Kapampangans’ on September 8 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando in Pampanga.

This after Vice Governor Dennis Pineda declared the suspension of classes in all levels both in public and private schools and work in government offices on the said date to give way to the Catholic faithful to celebrate the annual event.

Virgen delos Remedios, the iconic symbol of the Kapampangan victory over socialism ideologies in the 1950’s, has been granted with the privilege of the canonical coronation after Bishop of San Fernando Most Reverend Cesar Ma. Gerrero filed the humble petition in February 11,1956.

It was in September 8, 1956 when Pope Pius XII crowned the holy image in recognition to the Kapampangans’ deep devotion to the ‘Indung Maria’ despite the devastation of World War II.

This year’s set of activities will be hosted by the Vicariate of Saint Joseph with the theme “Maria, InduningKapaldanan, Bubucluran ding CommunidadCapampangankang Cristo.”

It can be recalled that last year, a huge crowd gathered at the Provincial Capitol for the 60th anniversary of the Blessed Mary and Archbishop of San Fernando Florentino “Dong” Lavarias highlighted during the Holy Mass the vibrant faith of the Kapampangans.


Article below was retrieved from the “Views from the Pampang” written by history buff and Mabalacat City’s living treasure Alex del Rosario. (http://viewsfromthepampang.blogspot.com/2010/06/200-virgins-tale-our-lady-of-pampanga.html)

“Virgen de los Remedios was the central character in the turbulent post-War events unfolding in Pampanga, when the province was being called “Little Russia”. Many Kapampangans were being turned on to Communism, giving rise to social unrest that threatened to tear the province apart. Then Bishop Cesar Ma. Guerrero conceived of a crusade to bring back Kapampangans to the Catholic fold, and thus was born on 15 April 1952, the Cruzada y Buena Voluntad (Crusade of Charity and Goodwill), under the patronage of Our Lady of Remedies.

The original image was borrowed from a chapel in Baliti and was sent on an uninterrupted pilgrimage to all Pampanga towns (siba-balen) and parishes. Indeed, after a year, our Lady proved to be a true remedy for the turmoil in the province, converting and pacifying people, while bringing back devotion to the Faith.

The next year, when it was time for the image to be brought out again for its scheduled visits, the people of Baliti refused to loan their image. Fr. GenerosoPallasigui, then Baliti parish priest, was quite worried that “blood will flow” if Bishop Guerrero insisted on taking the image away. It was ironical that the image that was meant to bring Kapampangan together, was now causing divisiveness between the cruzada organizers and the “possessive” people of Baliti. (Years later, it was gathered that the people were misinformed about the news they heard about their Virgen de los Remedios—that it was going to be sent for coronation in Rome and then stay there permanently!).

Bishop Guerrero instead, had a replica made—and this new Virgen de los Remedios was the image that was canonically crowned on 8 September 1956 in San Fernando—a full 4 years after the inaugural crusade started in Masantol. Today, there are two other duplicate images that visit the northern and southern towns of Pampanga; the canonically crowned image is kept in the San Fernando Chancery and is brought out once a year for its coronation anniversary. The “Virgen de los Remedios of Baliti”reposes in its own chapel in Baliti, and the place is being propagated as a shrine by the residents who, for many years, had to endure the stigma of being branded as “selfish” community, long after the controversial rebuff.

In the meanwhile, the pilgrim Virgin continues its visits to every nook and cranny of Pampanga towns, moving and touching Kapampangans by the thousands. I, myself, have seen the dramatic effects of the visit in my town most recently. From June to the 2nd week of July, Mabalacat played host to the revered patroness of Pampanga. Townfolks turned out en masse and lined the bunting-decorated streets for the arrival of the Our Lady in Quitanguil. Santos, representing the barangay patron saints, stood on their flower-bedecked carrozas and joined the Mabalaqueños in the warm welcome, complete with band music.

Barangays tried to outdo each other in according the best welcome for the Virgen. In a show of solidarity, people worked together to spruce up their visitas and chapels, hang blue and white buntings, set up welcome arches and streamers to honor our Lady. For days, barangay chapels hummed with the sound of novena prayers, with devotees coming non-stop to join in the festivities.

On an overcast 17 July afternoon, when it was time to send off the image to its next destination–Hensonville in Angeles—hundreds of Mabalaqueños celebrated a festive Mass in the parish church, specially decorated for the grand mañanita. Then, the town residents, pastoral council members,Damas de Caridad and the Caballeros de Cristo formed a long convoy to accompany the image and the Santo Cristo del Perdon all the way to the city, singing and intoning prayers while continuing the tradition of lamak—an act of charity done through the sharing of donated goods, with the sick, the needy and the destitute.

In an age of skepticism, one only has to look at the attendant effects of our Lady’s visit on Kapampangans—you can see a deepening of faith, a return to prayer, a heightened sense of awareness of our social ills, and a strengthening of the will to make a difference — to conclude that modern day miracles still happen. Our InduningCapaldanan has done it again.”

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