Virgin Mother of God, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, thou, who hast chosen to raise thy throne of mercy in Manaoag, to be the beloved protectress and Patron of the Province of Pangasinan, and therefrom to bestow thy graces on us, thy children, banished in this valley of tears, look down with thine eyes of mercy upon me, who am beset with so many dangers of body and soul. Despise not my petition, O dearest Mother, but intercede for me before thy divine Son now and at the hour of my death. Amen.
Apo Baket, Virgin of Manaoag, pray for us!

[Photo:  by khurram at travelermania.com]

Virgin Mother of God, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, thou, who hast chosen to raise thy throne of mercy in Manaoag, to be the beloved protectress and Patron of the Province of Pangasinan, and therefrom to bestow thy graces on us, thy children, banished in this valley of tears, look down with thine eyes of mercy upon me, who am beset with so many dangers of body and soul. Despise not my petition, O dearest Mother, but intercede for me before thy divine Son now and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Apo Baket, Virgin of Manaoag, pray for us!



[Photo:  by khurram at travelermania.com]

Here is a nice video of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, whose fiesta we celebrate today.  This video, which is mostly in English with some parts in Tagalog, tells of the cultural history and spiritual significance of Our Lady of Manaoag; the relationship that she has with the Filipino people; and the architectural design of her shrine in the province of Pangasinan.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY OF MANAOAG
As we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, it is also a major fiesta for the Church, especially in the Philippines and, particularly, in my Mom’s home province of Pangasinan on the island of Luzon.
For, today, and every Wednesday of the third week of Easter, thousands of people gather in the town of Manaoag to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag (her other feast day is October 7th).
God willing, next February, I will travel to the land of my ancestors (for the first time!) and make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag to venerate this image of our Blessed Mother.  As a side note:  the shrine has been officially proclaimed by the Vatican to be an affiliate of the Major Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome; thus, the indulgences and spiritual benefits of making a pilgrimage to the shrine would be the same as if you had visited St. Mary Major.
The shrine grew from a small chapel that was built after Our Lady appeared to a simple farmer who was walking home after a tiring day in the fields.  He first saw a bright light and heard a voice call out to him.  After looking where the light and voice were coming from, he soon beheld an apparition of a beautiful woman standing on a cloud on a tree.  The woman who was fair as the moon and bright as the sun held a rosary in one hand and a Baby in the other.  She spoke to the kneeling farmer saying, “Son, I want a church built here in my honor.  My children shall receive many favors in this place.”
Pilgrims soon flooded the once rural village to pray in the small chapel built near the tree where the Lady had appeared.  To accommodate the growing crowds, the tiny structure was rebuilt over the years to the present shrine that we see today, and the town where all this took place changed its name from Santa Monica to Manaoag, in reference to the place where the Virgin calls, for “Manaoag” is derived from “toag" ("tawag”) or “to call.”
As she once called out to the simple Filipino farmer, Apo Baket (Venerable Lady) calls to us as well.  She, our Mother, calls out to her children who have separated themselves from her Son, calling out their names as she repeatedly called out the Name of Jesus who was lost to her and Joseph for 3 days.  To her little ones clinging to her mantle, Mary calls out to them and speaks the words she said to the servers at the Wedding at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).
The image above of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag which stands above the shrine’s altar is made out of ivory and was brought to the Philippines by Fr. Juan de San Jacinto, O.P. from Spain (via Acapulco) over 300 years ago.  It was canonically crowed in 1926 in recognition to the devotion of many Filipinos and of the spiritual and temporal benefits gained through Our Lady’s intercession.
[Photo:  by Glenn Inocencio]

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY OF MANAOAG

As we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, it is also a major fiesta for the Church, especially in the Philippines and, particularly, in my Mom’s home province of Pangasinan on the island of Luzon.

For, today, and every Wednesday of the third week of Easter, thousands of people gather in the town of Manaoag to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag (her other feast day is October 7th).

God willing, next February, I will travel to the land of my ancestors (for the first time!) and make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag to venerate this image of our Blessed Mother.  As a side note:  the shrine has been officially proclaimed by the Vatican to be an affiliate of the Major Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome; thus, the indulgences and spiritual benefits of making a pilgrimage to the shrine would be the same as if you had visited St. Mary Major.

The shrine grew from a small chapel that was built after Our Lady appeared to a simple farmer who was walking home after a tiring day in the fields.  He first saw a bright light and heard a voice call out to him.  After looking where the light and voice were coming from, he soon beheld an apparition of a beautiful woman standing on a cloud on a tree.  The woman who was fair as the moon and bright as the sun held a rosary in one hand and a Baby in the other.  She spoke to the kneeling farmer saying, “Son, I want a church built here in my honor.  My children shall receive many favors in this place.

Pilgrims soon flooded the once rural village to pray in the small chapel built near the tree where the Lady had appeared.  To accommodate the growing crowds, the tiny structure was rebuilt over the years to the present shrine that we see today, and the town where all this took place changed its name from Santa Monica to Manaoag, in reference to the place where the Virgin calls, for “Manaoag” is derived from “toag" ("tawag”) or “to call.”

As she once called out to the simple Filipino farmer, Apo Baket (Venerable Lady) calls to us as well.  She, our Mother, calls out to her children who have separated themselves from her Son, calling out their names as she repeatedly called out the Name of Jesus who was lost to her and Joseph for 3 days.  To her little ones clinging to her mantle, Mary calls out to them and speaks the words she said to the servers at the Wedding at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).

The image above of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag which stands above the shrine’s altar is made out of ivory and was brought to the Philippines by Fr. Juan de San Jacinto, O.P. from Spain (via Acapulco) over 300 years ago.  It was canonically crowed in 1926 in recognition to the devotion of many Filipinos and of the spiritual and temporal benefits gained through Our Lady’s intercession.

[Photo:  by Glenn Inocencio]

Happy Feast of Bl. Pedro Calungsod, Martyr
On October 21, 2012, the Philippines and the entire Church will have a new canonized saint:  Pedro Calungsod, a young Filipino catechist and missionary who gave his life for the faith over 300 years ago on this day, April 2nd, the same day that our beloved Pope John Paul II breathed his last.
Here is more on the heroic life and death of Bl. Pedro by Msgr. Ildebrando Jesus Alino Leyson in Pedro Calungsod Bisaya, Prospects of a Teenage Filipino.

        Pedro Calungsod may only have been in his early teens (between 12 and 15 years old) when he went with Padre Diego to Guam in 1668. He was one of the young catechists who went with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries to the Ladrones Islands to evangelize the Chamorros.  At that time, the Ladrones Islands were part of the  Diocese of Cebu.          Life in the Ladrones was hard.  Despite the hardships, the missionaries persevered, and the Mission was blessed with many conversions. The first mission residence and church were built in the town of Hagatña [Agadña; Agaña; Agana] in the island of Guam. Subsequently, the islands were renamed “Marianas” by the missionaries in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the then queen regent of Spain, Maria Ana, who was the benefactress of that Mission.          A man named Choco became envious of the prestige that the missionaries were gaining among the Chamorros.  He started to spread rumors that the baptismal water of the missionaries was poisonous. Because some sickly Chamorro infants who had been baptized died, many believed Choco and eventually apostatized. Choco found an ally in the local medicine man, Macanjas, and the Urritaos, young native men who were given to some immoral practices. These, along with the apostates, began to persecute the missionaries, many of whom were killed.       
        Martyrdom came to Padre Diego and Pedro Calungsod on April 2, 1672 which was the Saturday before Passion Sunday of that year.         At around seven o’clock that morning, Padre Diego and Pedro Calungsod went to the village of Tomhon in Guam because they were told that a baby girl was just born in the village.  They went to ask Matapang, the child’s father, to bring the baby out for baptism. Matapang had been a Christian and a friend of the missionaries but had apostatized. He angrily refused to have his baby christened.    To give Matapang some time to cool down, Padre Diego and Pedro gathered the children and some adults of the village at the nearby shore and started chanting with them the truths of the Catholic Faith. They invited Matapang to join them, but the apostate shouted back that he was angry with God and was already fed up with the Christian teachings.    Determined to kill the missionaries, Matapang went out to ask for the help of another villager, named Hirao, who was not a Christian.  At first, Hirao refused. He knew of the kindness of the missionaries towards the natives.  But Matapang chided him for being a coward.  Hirao changed his mind and decided to join Matapang.          While Matapang was away, Padre Diego and Pedro obtained to permission of Matapang’s Christian mother and baptized the baby girl.         Matapang was enraged when he found out. He attacked the missionaries with spears.  He first went after Pedro who presumably tried to defend the priest.  Pedro was able to dodge the spears with remarkable dexterity. Witnesses said that Pedro had all the chances to escape because he was very agile, but he did not want to leave Padre Diego alone.         Those who personally knew Pedro believed that he would have defeated his aggressors and would have freed both himself and Padre Diego if only he had some weapon. But Padre Diego never allowed his companions to carry arms.         Finally, Pedro got hit by a spear in the chest and  fell to the ground, Hirao immediately charged towards him and finished him off with a blow of a cutlass to the head. Padre Diego could not do anything except to raise a crucifix and give Pedro the final sacramental absolution. After that, the assassins killed Padre Diego.        Matapang took the crucifix of Padre Diego and crushed it with a stone while blaspheming God. Then, both assassins ripped the clothes off Pedro and Padre Diego. They  dragged them to the shore, tied large stones to their feet. They brought their bodies out to sea on a proa  and threw them into the deep. The remains of the martyrs were never to be found.        The faith that was planted in the Marianas in 1668 did not die with Padre Diego, Pedro Calungsod and the first missionaries. It grew, thanks to the blood of the martyrs and the perseverance of the succeeding missionaries.

For more info about Bl. Pedro, please go here. 
O Beato Pedro Calungsod, ipanalangin mo kami!

Happy Feast of Bl. Pedro Calungsod, Martyr

On October 21, 2012, the Philippines and the entire Church will have a new canonized saint:  Pedro Calungsod, a young Filipino catechist and missionary who gave his life for the faith over 300 years ago on this day, April 2nd, the same day that our beloved Pope John Paul II breathed his last.

Here is more on the heroic life and death of Bl. Pedro by Msgr. Ildebrando Jesus Alino Leyson in Pedro Calungsod Bisaya, Prospects of a Teenage Filipino.

        Pedro Calungsod may only have been in his early teens (between 12 and 15 years old) when he went with Padre Diego to Guam in 1668. He was one of the young catechists who went with some Spanish Jesuit missionaries to the Ladrones Islands to evangelize the Chamorros.  At that time, the Ladrones Islands were part of the  Diocese of Cebu. 

        Life in the Ladrones was hard.  Despite the hardships, the missionaries persevered, and the Mission was blessed with many conversions. The first mission residence and church were built in the town of Hagatña [Agadña; Agaña; Agana] in the island of Guam. Subsequently, the islands were renamed “Marianas” by the missionaries in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the then queen regent of Spain, Maria Ana, who was the benefactress of that Mission. 

        A man named Choco became envious of the prestige that the missionaries were gaining among the Chamorros.  He started to spread rumors that the baptismal water of the missionaries was poisonous. Because some sickly Chamorro infants who had been baptized died, many believed Choco and eventually apostatized. Choco found an ally in the local medicine man, Macanjas, and the Urritaos, young native men who were given to some immoral practices. These, along with the apostates, began to persecute the missionaries, many of whom were killed.       

        Martyrdom came to Padre Diego and Pedro Calungsod on April 2, 1672 which was the Saturday before Passion Sunday of that year.

        At around seven o’clock that morning, Padre Diego and Pedro Calungsod went to the village of Tomhon in Guam because they were told that a baby girl was just born in the village.  They went to ask Matapang, the child’s father, to bring the baby out for baptism. Matapang had been a Christian and a friend of the missionaries but had apostatized. He angrily refused to have his baby christened.

    To give Matapang some time to cool down, Padre Diego and Pedro gathered the children and some adults of the village at the nearby shore and started chanting with them the truths of the Catholic Faith. They invited Matapang to join them, but the apostate shouted back that he was angry with God and was already fed up with the Christian teachings.

    Determined to kill the missionaries, Matapang went out to ask for the help of another villager, named Hirao, who was not a Christian.  At first, Hirao refused. He knew of the kindness of the missionaries towards the natives.  But Matapang chided him for being a coward.  Hirao changed his mind and decided to join Matapang.  

        While Matapang was away, Padre Diego and Pedro obtained to permission of Matapang’s Christian mother and baptized the baby girl.

        Matapang was enraged when he found out. He attacked the missionaries with spears.  He first went after Pedro who presumably tried to defend the priest.  Pedro was able to dodge the spears with remarkable dexterity. Witnesses said that Pedro had all the chances to escape because he was very agile, but he did not want to leave Padre Diego alone.

        Those who personally knew Pedro believed that he would have defeated his aggressors and would have freed both himself and Padre Diego if only he had some weapon. But Padre Diego never allowed his companions to carry arms.

        Finally, Pedro got hit by a spear in the chest and  fell to the ground, Hirao immediately charged towards him and finished him off with a blow of a cutlass to the head. Padre Diego could not do anything except to raise a crucifix and give Pedro the final sacramental absolution. After that, the assassins killed Padre Diego.

        Matapang took the crucifix of Padre Diego and crushed it with a stone while blaspheming God. Then, both assassins ripped the clothes off Pedro and Padre Diego. They  dragged them to the shore, tied large stones to their feet. They brought their bodies out to sea on a proa  and threw them into the deep. The remains of the martyrs were never to be found.

        The faith that was planted in the Marianas in 1668 did not die with Padre Diego, Pedro Calungsod and the first missionaries. It grew, thanks to the blood of the martyrs and the perseverance of the succeeding missionaries.

For more info about Bl. Pedro, please go here

O Beato Pedro Calungsod, ipanalangin mo kami!

iamdarwin18:

Low Mass in Cathedral turned hospital in Leyte, World War IIBlack-veiled Philippino women kneeling at benches before altar where priest celebrates Mass while badly burned American Army officer lies swathed in bandages as he convalesces on cot in Cens Cathedral turned into a makeshift Army hospital.

iamdarwin18:

Low Mass in Cathedral turned hospital in Leyte, World War II
Black-veiled Philippino women kneeling at benches before altar where priest celebrates Mass while badly burned American Army officer lies swathed in bandages as he convalesces on cot in Cens Cathedral turned into a makeshift Army hospital.

iamdarwin18:

Regina Carmeli procession, San Sebastian Church Manila

iamdarwin18:

Regina Carmeli procession, San Sebastian Church Manila

iamdarwin18:

Faith strengthens us amidst all the hardships of life.(Filipino Woman Carries Family Cross to Safety, Nov. 6, 1944, Leyte, Philippines, World War II) 

iamdarwin18:

Faith strengthens us amidst all the hardships of life.

(Filipino Woman Carries Family Cross to Safety, Nov. 6, 1944, Leyte, Philippines, World War II) 

"Filipino Love Dance" begins with Tuksuhan.  Bring courting back!