All Roads Lead to the Pilgrim City
As this issue of Bicol Mail is being released, we shall also be having the traditional Traslacion, which literally means “transfer”, in which Naguenos and guests from other parts of Bicol will process together carrying the image of Ina from the Basilica to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. This marks the beginning of the 9-day Novena to our Lady of Penafrancia, Patroness of Bicol region, and the festivities of the Penafrancia fiesta.
Our devotion to Ina has been considered as the most important aspect of the Bicolano heritage. We, the Bicolano people, have always taken pride and great solace in being “pueblo amante de Maria”-people in love with Mary. I first heard of this phrase from the homily of the guest Archbishop we had many fiestas ago, who was edified by our expression of love for our Ina. We look back in gratitude to the one who brought this devotion to us as a gift, Rev. Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarrubias, who is said to be the first diocesan priest ordained in Naga City, and who was the son of a Spanish government official from Pena de Francia, Spain healed by Our Lady of his illness. Bishop Francisco Gainza is said to have been the one who started and institutionalized the Traslacion and the Fluvial Procession as part of the Penafrancia devotional practice.
From being called the “Heart of Bicol” because of our central location in the Bicol Region, Naga became the Pilgrim City, when we were declared alongside the Province of Camarines Sur as a “pilgrimage capital” in a Proclamation signed by then President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2010.
After two years of celebrating her feast in our own homes, on Friday we walk in pilgrimage with our Ina once again, together with the Image of the Divino Rostro in honor of the Holy Face of Mary’s Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We, the Bicolanos, bring ourselves and our families to her loving care, embodying the theme of the celebration, “Paghawas sa mga Angat, kaiba an Inang Mapinadangat”.
VIVA LA VIRGEN! VIVA EL DIVINO ROSTRO!
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“LOVE OUR LADY, AND SHE WILL OBTAIN ABUNDANT GRACE TO HELP YOU CONQUER IN YOUR DAILY STRUGGLE” St. Josemaria Escriva
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN, AND BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF YOUR WOMB!” Luke 1:42