Monday, December 10, 2012

The Lady is Calling

My brother have been around, almost as soon as we arrived... I stayed home... well, I should... I still needed to fully recover plus, I don't think it was right that I start gallivanting without first paying homage to Our Mother...

It took me about a week to be able to go...

It is quite near... it was just a town away... so as soon as I was feeling better... I had no reason not to come... and  sometimes, if you don't come... the Lady will come to call you...






The original image was brought to the area by Augustinian friars who spiritually administered Manaoag from 1590-1613 in accordance with Royal Spanish decree. In 1614, the Dominicans assumed spiritual leadership under the patronage of Saint Monica.

In the early 17th century, the ivory image was brought to the Philippines by Padre Juan de San Jacinto from Spain via Acapulco. Documents dating back to 1610 attest that a native man walking home heard a mysterious female voice. He looked around and saw on a cloud-veiled treetop an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, holding a Rosary in her right hand and the Child Jesus in her left. The man fell on his knees and later told others of the miracle. On the spot where St Mary appeared to the man, a chapel was built, and the present-day town quickly grew around it.

A huge crowd attended the canonical coronation of the image on 21 April 1926 by the then-Papal Nuncio, as authorised by Pope Pius XI. After surviving Japanese bombing during World War II, the church was rebuilt, and it celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the image's coronation on 1 January 2000.

Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, with permission of Pope Benedict XVI granted a plenary indulgence to visitors equal to that received when visiting a papal basilica in Rome. This was confirmed by the prelate (now Archbishop) of the Lingayen-Dagupan Diocese, Socrates B. Villegas, in a circular dated 13 June 2011. Within the country, only the Manaoag Shrine currently holds this status.

Pope Benedict XVI canonically approved the grant of the plenary indulgence on 21 June 2011. The official document and a shrine official who was among the priests who went to Rome confirmed the plenary indulgence may be obtained on each visit to the shrine subject to three conditions for each occasion: going to confession immediately before or after the pilgrimage;  receiving the Eucharist during the pilgrimage; and praying for the intentions of the Pope; each done in a spirit of detachment from the attraction of sin.

On 22 July 2011, a special mass was held to affirm the spiritual bond of affinity between Manaoag Shrine and the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome.

On August 24, 2012, a three-foot copy of the statue was donated and travelled to Guam where it was hosted at Saint Anthony and Victor's Catholic Church.

 
Our Lady of Manaoag has a long history of renowned miraculous and pious events, with some of the earliest are replicated in the murals within the church, These include the miraculous sparing of the town from a wildfire, the origin of the basilica and the parish, and the original apparition. Devotees visiting the shrine usually pray for good health or cure for diseases, among other intentions.

One story recounts how in the early days of Spanish colonisation, animist mountain tribes burnt down newly-converted Christian villages. The town of Manaoag was among the settlements set afire, and the initial thatch-roofed church was the locals' last refuge. The leader of the pillagers climbed over the compound's crude fence and shot flaming arrows into all parts of the church, but the building miraculously did not ignite.

The statue's miraculous powers became famous in the 1940s. During World War II, the Japanese dropped several bombs within the church's vicinity, with the structure itself suffering moderate damage. Four bombs were released above the church, with three landing on the plaza and the fa├žade, destroying both. The last bomb fell in the church sanctuary, but it remained intact and did not explode.



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