Giant Rosary. An aerial shot of the giant living Rosary at the UST campus last December 8. About 24,000 members of the Thomasian community participated in the event. Photo by Paul Allyson R. Quiambao

GUINNESS may have snubbed it, but the “Living Rosary” formed by 24,000 Thomasians last December 8 was still a feat worthy of the books as far as UST is concerned.

The Thomasian community joined hands to mount what is said to be world’s largest human rosary in the UST campus, one of the flurry of Quadricentennial activities this month.

Students, faculty members, and support staff occupied major roads of the University during the ceremony, which was covered by early evening television newcasts. Those assigned to form the cross were required to wear blue shirts while those designated as rosary beads were in yellow. Those who acted as chains wore white.

The Quadricentennial or “Q” Rosary was followed by a Holy Mass led by Fr. Quirico Pedregosa Jr., O.P., prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines and vice-chancellor of the University.

“There are two reasons [why we had this event]: first, as our thanksgiving to the Blessed Virgin because of our 400 years, and second, because today is the [39th] anniversary of the Dominican Province of the Philippines,” said Richard Pazcoguin, assistant director of the Center for Campus Ministry.

The Quadricentennial event coincided with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which proclaims the Catholic belief that the Virgin Mary, who bore the Son of God, was conceived without original sin.

UST has a fervent devotion to the rosary, the meditative prayer propagated by the Dominican Order. The campus hosts a parish church dedicated to the Lady of the Rosary, which also housed the miraculous image of La Naval de Manila after the destruction of Intramuros in World War II.

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A replica of La Naval was put on stage in front of the Main Building as participants prayed the rosary last December 8.

The “Q Rosary” was supposed to be the University’s attempt to enter the Guinness World Records for forming the largest living rosary. However, Guinness officials suggested otherwise.

“Guinness recommended the ‘largest human cross’ to be our record [instead]. You have to conform to what the Guinness says, you do not tell them what you want to do,” said Pazcoguin, who was also a member of the Q Rosary organizing committee.

The Rector said the Q Rosary should still be considered a feat.

“The Guinness Book of World Records, as you know, only includes works or accomplishments that are very difficult to achieve. Gathering [more than] 24,000 young people to pray the rosary altogether in such a big campus as UST is certainly very difficult and record-breaking,” Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. said in his homily.

The event was originally set last October 7 in celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. However, it was moved to December 8 after the Rector of the University issued a memorandum re-scheduling the activity due to “unpredictable weather.” 

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