The image came to the Philippines from Mexico. The celebrations began with a river procession at 5 am and continued with a Mass. At 8 am the transfer of the image began, leading faithful in procession to San Sebastian Basilica. Participants in the celebrations will receive plenary indulgence.
Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Filipino Church today is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the historic arrival of the image of Our Lady of Carmel in the country.
This morning, thousands of devotees gathered at the Quirino Grandstand, in Manila’s Rizal Park, for the ‘Salubong and traslación’, a ceremony re-enacting the arrival of the sacred image from Mexico.
The celebrations began with a river procession at 5 am and continued with a Mass led by Mgr Romulo Geolina Valles, archbishop of Davao and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
The service began at 6.30 am with the ‘traslación’ or transfer of the sacred image, which led the faithful in procession towards the Basilica of San Sebastian.
During the procession, the crowd stopped in front of the Basilica of St John the Baptist, also known as the Quiapo Church and the Basilica of the Black Nazarene. From here, the venerated statue of Christ was brought out for traditional Dugnaw or encounter (pictured).
Once the procession was over, the image of Our Lady of Carmel was exposed for public veneration. Mgr Valles said that the event represents an opportunity for the faithful to pray together for the well-being of the country.
“We urgently need to seek Our Mother’s intercession to protect the Philippines against natural calamities, the ongoing attacks on the sanctity of life and the family, and other serious difficulties that our nation faces,” the bishop of Davao said.
Celebrations will end this evening at 6 pm with a solemn Mass and the enthronement of the image of Our Lady of Carmel inside the basilica.
Card Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, announced that all participants in the celebrations will be able to receive plenary indulgence, as approved by the Holy See.
Brought by the missionaries of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects, Our Lady of Carmel arrived in Manila in 1618. Originally, it was kept in the Church of San Juan de Bautista de Bagumbayan.
The image was then enthroned in the first church of St Sebastian in Quiapo, when the building opened in 1621.
It was crowned in 1991 by Card Jaime Sin, under the authority of Saint John Paul II. Our Lady of Mount Carmel remains the Queen of San Sebastian Basilica in Quiapo.