Devotees of the Our Lady of La Naval flock the Santo Domingo Church and the streets of Quezon City during the La Naval Grand Procession on Oct. 9, the first to be held amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Josh Nikkolai S. Bravo/ The Varsitarian)

FILIPINO Dominicans mounted a grand procession of the centuries-old ivory image of Our Lady of La Naval on Oct. 9, marking a return to normalcy in religious activities after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rosary devotees were urged to look out for each other as a community to improve fellowship in the Church during Mass at Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City. 

In his homily, Santo Domingo Parish priest Fr. Mhandy Malijan, O.P. said devotees should unite as one Catholic community to prevent people from leaving the Church.

“Marami ang nanlalamig, marami ang siyang umaayaw o nagqu-quit o nag-iibang relihiyon dahil hindi nila na-feel na sila ay kabilang, sila ay isang komunyon”, Malijan said.

He also reminded the devotees to follow the Lord’s calling with conviction like Mary, and that no one is alone in their life’s journeys.

“Hindi tayo nag-iisa, kaya nga [kapag] mayroong prusisyon, alam natin magkasama tayong maglalakbay. Hindi ka nag-iisa, kasama mo ako,” Malijan said. 

Faith refueled

The La Naval Fiesta, celebrated onsite for the first time in two years since the Covid-19 pandemic, commemorates the miraculous La Naval sea victories that warded off the Dutch invasion of the Philippines in 1646.

Philosophy senior Mark Saliot told the Varsitarian that the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of La Naval was an opportunity to charge up faith.

“The onsite celebration of the feast of the Our Lady of La Naval de Manila and the grand procession are meant to refuel the faith of the Filipino faithful, which was greatly affected due to the pandemic,” he said.

For theology sophomore Kristian Amarante, the celebration was a reminder of the constant love and maternal care of La Naval.

Sobrang goosebumps ‘yung umulan nang malakas then tumila bago siya lumabas. Eto talagang si Ina, laging pakaba… pero never niya tayong iniwan,” he said. Allyssa Mae C. Cruz with reports from Ammiel B. Maestrado


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