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Centenary of the Canonical Coronation of the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia


Se Siempre La Reina

Se siempre la Reina! Be always the Queen! Thus we triumphantly sing this concluding petition verse of the Himno á la Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. With the familiar opening verse Resuene Vibrante that always evokes emotion and memories, this hymn, composed 100 years ago precisely for the occasion of the coronation by Fr. Maximo Juguera, CM, has become the anthem of every Peñafrancia Fiesta celebrated in every corner of the world.

Inâ is Queen because she is Gran madre de Dios. As the Mother of the King of kings, she is a Queen Mother – a loving mother who counsels her son and pleads for her people.1 It is good to note that even before the Feast of the Queenship of Mary was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1954, Bicolanos had already been singing “Se siempre la Reina de nuestra region”. Not vain pomp, pageantry, or glory, but her Queenship means service.2 It was because of the abundant wonders and graces she has poured into her devotees that she is the Queen of Bicol.3

Pamanang Banal

From Estrofa II of the Himno, we sing “Reliquia bendita que el cielo nos dio”. Literally translated as “blessed relic that the heaven gave us”, its dynamic translation in Bicol is “Pamanang banal, balaog nin Dios”. The devotion to Inâ is a Pamanang Banal: a Divine Inheritance and a Gift of God shared and handed down to us by grateful generations before us.

Atamanon, Padanayon, Palakupon

Now comes our collective responsibility to Nourish, Preserve, and Share our Divine Inheritance. We delve into the richness of the devotion by being transformed by it; we nurture and preserve this genuine devotion so that we can hand it down to the next generation in its best condition.4


The Crown of Gold.

The Crown of Gold is the centerpiece. On May 13, 1920, by the authority of Pope Benedict XV, the Chapter of St. Peter to whom belongs then the right and honor to crown those sacred images of the Blessed Virgin Mary that are famous for their antiquity and miracles, decreed that the august image of the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, be solemnly crowned with a crown of gold.5 The decree granted the petition made by Bishop John Bernard McGinley in the name of the clergy and faithful of the then Diocese of Nueva Cáceres where veneration with a profound devotion and piety is rendered to Our Lady of Peñafrancia because of its venerably long established cult and abundant wonders and graces which the loving Mother has poured into her devotees.6

The Aureola.

Prominent on the Logo is the golden bejeweled Aureola with Twelve Stars in the form of a globe. Sacred Art would often depict the Divine Persons, Angels, and Saints as having aureolas or halos; the circle of light that radiates from the Person’s head symbolizing an aura of sanctity or a glow of holiness. The Blessed Mother is the “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head, a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1). According to St. Hippolytus, the Evangelist John meant that the “twelve stars” refer to the Apostles by whom the Church was founded.7 The Aureola with Twelve Stars also crowned on Our Lady of Peñafrancia symbolizes her holiness and closeness with God. The aura of sanctity she radiates fills all her devotees such that in whatever town, city, or nation on earth they go, apostles as it were, they bring with them the devotion. They now radiate the light of the devotion that fills the world and overcomes the darkness that often envelops the world.

The Coronation.

On the field formed by the crown of gold and the aureola, is the portrayal of what has now become the emblem of the solemn coronation rite that was held on September 20, 1924, at the Plaza del Seminario de Nueva Cáceres, now part of the Naga Cathedral Grounds: The Apostolic Delegate Guglielmo Piani, SDB, DD, in the name of then reigning Pope Pius XI, solemnly coronated the miraculous Image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia whom Bicolanos lovingly and endearingly call “Inâ”. At that time, then Diocese of Nueva Cáceres covered the whole Bicol Region as her jurisdiction, thus, by her coronation, Inâ became the Queen and Patroness of Bicol.

1924 - 2024.

1924-2024 marks the Centenary of the Canonical Coronation of the Image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. It is a great privilege that this once-in-a-lifetime milestone is celebrated in our time. 2024 reminds us of our particular mission in celebrating the Fiesta this year: our identification with the mission of her Son to the poor who compose the majority of the members of our local church in Bicol.8


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