THE CANONICAL coronation is a special privilege bestowed only on a very special Marian image.

This is what Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco pointed out in his homily before the solemn re-enactment of the canonical coronation of La Naval de Manila, which was canonically crowned on orders of Pius X in 1907 in the first ever canonical coronation of any Marian image in the Philippines and Asia.

The ceremonial coronation was made during a High Mass celebrated by Ongtioco and 15 other bishops from across the country last Oct. 4 at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City.

“Our saga as a nation has always been intertwined with divine faith and the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Ongtioco said. “The venerated image of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval has through the years proven itself as a source of inspiration, and a symbol of faith and hope in times of despair.”

Ongtioco assisted by Fr. Bienvenido Trinilla, O.P., prior of the Sto. Domingo Convent, crowned La Naval and the infant Christ, which she holds with her left arm. Both icons are adorned with gem-studded crowns.

Unlike in the previous years, Our Lady was not brought to the altar through a procession, and was already near the altar for the enthronement.

The image was placed at the baldachino, the special platform for the Virgin, on the altar of the Sto. Domingo Church. The event signaled the official start of the novena Masses accompanied by the Serenata, a concert series featuring musicians such as Basil Valdez, Jose Mari Chan, and Jamie Rivera.

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Msgr. Wojciech Zaluski, charge de affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature, also attended the celebration and underscored the importance of Marian devotion.

“Mary presents us and guides us to Jesus, the only redeemer of the world. Let us accept her in our lives, in our families, and in our true being,” Zaluski said. “Certainly, she will help us to learn more things on the kindness of the Divine Father.”

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