Faithful urged to preserve Marian devotion in La Naval de Manila feast

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THE LAITY were called to preserve the tradition of Marian devotion, during the celebration of the feast of La Naval de Manila at Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City last Oct. 9.

“Ang isang mabuting bagay, gaya ng inyong debosiyon, ay hindi dapat tinatapos. Ito ay dapat ipinagpapatuloy,” Fr. Rolando Mactal, O.P., prior of Santo Domingo Convent, told devotees of Our Lady of La Naval after a two-hour procession on the streets around Santo Domingo.

Mactal highlighted the Blessed Mother’s role in salvation, saying Mary intercedes for Christians. It would not be possible for man to enter heaven without her help, he said.

In a homily, guest priest Fr. Edgar Dantes called on the faithful to accept God’s love the way the Blessed Mother did.

“God’s love is the kiss that can break the curse of sin in our lives. His love transforms us into who we should we be. When we surrender to God’s love, we become like Mary,” he said.

The image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, also known as Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de La Naval de Manila, is the oldest ivory carving in the country. In 1907, it became the first local Marian image to be canonically crowned.

The feast of La Naval honors the Marian intercession linked to the 1646 victory of Filipino and Spanish troops over Protestant Dutch invaders.

With only two trading galleons to fight 15 Dutch warships, the Filipino and Spanish forces asked help from Our Lady of the Holy Rosary to win the battle, vowing to walk barefoot in procession to the old Santo Domingo Shrine in Intramuros.

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