CATHOLICS were urged to be true listeners like Mary, whose life is the prime example of obedience and blessedness, during the Mass for the feast day of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila at Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

“In the annunciation, Mary listened wholeheartedly to the angels with full understanding. Our mothers would always remind us that if we truly listen, we would be delivered from harm. When we listen, we will truly be saved,” said Fr. Mhandy Malijan, O.P., parish priest of Santo Domingo Church, in his homily on Oct. 10.

“We hope to continue to listen and be blessed like Mary. She is a story of listening and blessing,” he added.

Malijan challenged the faithful to step out of their comfort zones and give more, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Mary never stops helping us even if she is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Let our novena never end. We are asked by the Lord to give more. It is not enough to simply give; the challenge is to give more,” he added.

He also encouraged Catholics to participate in projects spearheaded by the Diocese of Cubao to give aid to neighboring parishes.

After the Mass, the image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, placed on its boat-shaped carroza, was brought outside the Santo Domingo Church for the solemn “dungaw.”

There was no grand procession for the second year in a row due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In line with protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, fully vaccinated devotees occupied only 30 percent of seating capacity during the fiesta Mass.

With the theme “Maria: Huwarang Saksi sa Limandaang Taong Pananampalatayang Kristiyano,” this year’s La Naval festivities coincided with the jubilee celebrations for the quincentennial of Christianity in the Philippines.

“[S]i Maria ay buhay na saksi sa makasaysayang mga pangyayari at milagro na ipinamalas sa pagdarasal nang taimtim. 500 Years of Christianity is a signal for us to listen for the next year and continuing service of blessings from the Lord,” Malijan said.

The feast of La Naval honors the Marian intercession linked to the naval victory of Filipino and Spanish troops over Protestant Dutch invaders in 1646. Defenders vowed to walk barefoot to the old Santo Domingo Shrine in Intramuros as a show of devotion for winning the battle.

In Spanish, she is known as Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de La Naval de Manila. The image is the oldest ivory carving in the Philippines. It became the first local Marian image to be canonically crowned in 1907.

Pope Paul VI declared Our Lady of La Naval the patroness of Quezon City in 1973. Allyssa Mae C. Cruz


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