Bicol’s Inâ draws devotees during Traslacion
By Myrna Bermudo
Called “Pueblo Amante De Maria”, Bicolanos and devotees of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro once again flocked to the pilgrim city of Naga for the Traslacion procession. It has been three years since the pandemic and a void was created due to the restrictions. Thus, filled with fervor, an estimated 950,000 or almost a million devotees filled the streets last Friday September 8 to mark the start of Novenario at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.
The Eucharistic Celebration was presided over by the Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, Archbishop of Caceres, along with Bicolano bishops Daet Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, Libmanan Bishop Jose Rojas, Sorsogon Bishop Jose Alan Dialogo and the Bicol clergy.
With the theme, “Journeying with Inâ in deepening our relationship with God in these challenging times,” Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD in his homily said: “Difficult times should never be the reason why we should remain down. But difficult times should be challenges to rise up again. In difficult times, be agents of change. May kakayahan kayong baguhin ang lipunan. Every time we journey with the Blessed Mother, and every time we deepen our relationship with God, difficult times are nothing because God and the Blessed Mother is with us.”
He added that his heart is full of gratitude because the date of the Traslacion, September 8, aside from being the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother, is the 11th anniversary of his appointment as 34th bishop and 4th Archbishop of Caceres. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in September 8, 2012.
The images of Ina and Divino Rostro will stay at the Naga Cathedral until the Fluvial Procession via Naga River on the 16th of September.
After the fluvial procession, His Excellency Charles John Brown, DD, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, will preside over the Eucharistic celebration. The Solemn Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia will be on September 17.
The image of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia is a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary venerated in Naga City since 1710.
Pope Benedict XV granted the image a decree of canonical coronation May 13, 1920. Thus, declaring Our Lady of Peñafrancia as the regional patroness of Bicolandia.
The crowning itself occurred four years later on Sept. 20, 1924, led by the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Guglielmo Piani, at the Naga Cathedral grounds.
The Archdiocese of Caceres is looking forward to mark the centennial of the pontifical coronation of the image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia on September 2024.
The venerated image is housed at the National Shrine and Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.