October 3, 2015, 1:48p.m. – TO MARK the Year of the Consecrated Life and the Year of the Poor, this year’s feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary seeks to bring the religious closer to the faithful living in poverty.

In line with the theme “Inang Maria, karamay natin sa paglalakbay sa panahon ng karalitaan at kabanalan,” Filipino Catholics were called to offer their devotion to the Blessed Mother to the poor during the enthronement of the image of the Lady of Rosary, popularly known as La Naval de Manila, last Oct. 1 at Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

Fr. Roland Mactal, O.P., prior of Santo Domingo convent, said true devotion to the Blessed Mother should be seen outside the convent.

“Ang tunay na debosyon ay hindi lamang sa loob ng dambana ng La Naval de Manila. Marahil mabait kayo sa aming mga pari at sa imahe ng La Naval de Manila ngunit nakaligtaan natin ang mga maralita na kasama sa buhay,” Fr. Mactal said in his homily during the Holy Mass for the enthronement.

Fr. Mactal said this year’s theme aims to unite religious orders with the poor. “It is the Year of the Consecrated Life, meaning, [it is the year of] different religious orders, like the Franciscans, we Dominicans, the Jesuits, and Augustinians. We also celebrate the Year of the Poor in the Philippines. Sabay ang Year of the Poor and Year of the Consecrated Life kaya pinagsama natin,” he said.

“Ang debosyon natin ay hindi lamang sa rosaryo kundi ang malasakit natin sa mahirap, lalo na ang mga kabataan,” Fr. Mactal told the Varsitarian.

The feast proper of La Naval will be on Sunday, Oct. 11, capping nine days of Masses and novena prayers.

La Naval de Manila has been venerated for over four centuries since the image was made in the late 16th century by a Chinese artisan.

The devotion to the “Santisimo Rosario” became historically significant following the La Naval de Manila battles in 1646, when the grossly underequipped Filipino and Spanish defenders on board two decrepit commercial galleons did battle with the vastly superior invading Dutch armada. 

The spectacular victory of the defenders was attributed to the intercession of the Santisimo Rosario, since the defenders had prayed the rosary and had promised a religious pilgrimage to Santo Domingo, where the Marian icon was enshrined, should they win and survive the battles.

Henceforth, the icon became known as Nuestra Senora del Santisimo Rosario, La Naval de Manila, or simply Our Lady of La Naval. Lea Mat P. Vicencio


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