THE ROLE of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila as the protector and mother of people will once again be commemorated from Sept. 30 to Oct. 9 at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City.

Organizers said that this year's grand La Naval procession on Oct. 9 will focus on raising awareness about the anti-life provisions of the Reproductive Health bill.

Invited to lead the traditional act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Rosary is Sen. Tito Sotto, a pro-life lawmaker.

With the theme “La Naval de Manila 2011: Ina ni Kristo, Ina ng Buhay,” the celebration will start with a nine-day novena and the enthronement of the Marian image at the main altar.

The culmination of the festivity on Oct. 9 will be celebrated by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco which will be followed by a grand procession at 4 p.m.

Celebrants for the novena masses include Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., UST Rector; Bishop Teodoro Bacani, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Manila; Nueva Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi; and Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P. and Fr. Tamberlane Lana, O.P., former UST rectors.

La Naval has been revered since its creation in the late 16th century for its miracles and having withstood many adversaries. Unlike most Marian images that was made in Mexico and Spain, La Naval was made in the country.

Clad in gold cape with a lavish diadem atop its head, the sculpture of Our Lady of the Rosary was commissioned in 1954 upon the request of acting Governor General of the Philippines Don Luis Dasmariñas to pay tribute to his deceased father and his regime.

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In March of 1646, 15 Dutch ships breached the Philippine territory and attacked the country, which came to be the Battle of La Naval.

Enduring the catastrophe, it was housed at the UST Chapel (now Santisimo Rosario Parish) where it experienced yet another attack. Miraculously, the bombing did not leave a single scratch on the image. JAMES BRYAN J. AGUSTIN

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