Thomasians hold a procession around the campus in honor of the image of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval, whose last visit in UST was in 1992, for a Quadricentennial visit. Photo by Jilson Seckler C. TiuDec. 6, 8:00 p.m. – THE UNIVERSITY welcomed this afternoon the centuries-old image of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval for a “Quadricentennial visit,” underscoring the Thomasian community’s devotion to the rosary.

A 4 p.m. motorcade brought “La Naval de Manila” from Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City to UST, after which a procession was held around campus. After the praying of the rosary, a Mass was offered at the UST chapel, participated in by hundreds of students and faculty members. A vigil followed at 7 p.m.

In his homily, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of the University, said UST is not only an academic institution, but also a “praying community” sustained by strong faith in God. “Too bad, in accreditation of schools or in surveys of excellent schools, faith is not in the criteria,” De la Rosa said.

He said the University lasted for 400 years because of the Thomasian community’s “continuing devotion to Mary and Mary’s continuing intercession for us (Thomasians).”

“No institution can last or even progress without the virtue of faith,” said De la Rosa.

Tomorrow at 9 a.m. – the eve of the Marian Feast of the Immaculate Conception – the newly constructed “Rosarium” or Rosary Garden at the right side of the Main Building will be blessed. The image of La Naval will be brought back to Sto. Domingo Church by motorcade at 10 p.m.

The Sampaloc campus was home to La Naval from 1942 to 1954, following the destruction of the old Sto. Domingo Church in Intramuros with the bombing of Manila during World War II. It was transferred to its permanent home on Oct. 10, 1954 with the construction of the new Sto. Domingo in Quezon City.

The last time the miraculous image went to UST was nearly two decades ago, when “La Naval de Manila” was brought to the campus by a procession from Quezon City. This was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the transfer of the image to UST from the old Sto. Domingo in Intramuros.

The feast of Our Lady of La Naval is celebrated every second Sunday of October in commemoration of the miraculous victory of Spanish Philippines in naval battles against Dutch invaders. In 1646, well-armed Dutch ships reached the Philippine islands to lead an invasion. The Philippines launched only two old galleons to fight the Dutch forces, and was clearly at a disadvantage. Spaniards and Filipinos turned to Our Lady of the Rosary for help, and by miracle, they won five times in what was later called the Battle of La Naval.

The image of La Naval was sculpted by a Chinese artisan upon the request of then acting Governor General Don Luis Perez Dasmariñas. The head, hands, and the Holy Child of the 56-inch tall image are all made of ivory. – Daphne J. Magturo


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