Devotees of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila attend the Mass and grand procession celebrating its feast on Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. (Photo by Albert Earl A. Gomez/ The Varsitarian)

SEEKING refuge in Our Lady of La Naval can help the faithful win their own battles, as seen throughout history, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said during the Mass commemorating the Solemnity of Our Lady of La Naval. 

The La Naval fiesta has been celebrated annually since 1646 after Filipino and Spanish defenders repelled attacks by the Dutch, with a naval captain praying for the intercession of the Virgin Mary to defeat the invaders.

For Ongtioco, La Naval has never failed her devotees amid a world pummeled by multiple challenges. 

Iba ang ating hinaharap sa ating kapanahunan at kailangan maging matatag tayo dahil makapangyarihan ang ating kinakalaban: materyalismo, korapsyon, walang Diyos na pag-iisip, walang pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng tao, walang kinikilala kung minsan sa dignidad sa tao,” the prelate said in his homily on Sunday, Oct. 8.

(We are currently facing different problems and we need to remain steadfast against our powerful enemies: materialism, corruption, atheistic thinking, lack of respect for life, and disregard for a person’s dignity.)

Malungkot, nagugulo isip mo, hindi ka makapagdesisyon, lumapit ka sa ating mahal na ina. May problema ka, nawawalan ka ng lakas, lumapit ka sa ating mahal na ina. Nandiyan lamang siya dahil ang kaniyang misyon, katulad ng hinabilin ni Hesus sa kaniya, ay alagaan tayo, subaybayan tayo at palakasin tayo,” he added.

(In times of sadness, anxiousness and indecisiveness, approach the Blessed Mother. If you confront problems and feel dispirited, seek refuge in the Blessed Mother. She is there because Jesus entrusted us to her to take care of, watch over, and strengthen us.)

The Cubao bishop assured the faithful that devotion to La Naval would allow them to surpass life’s challenges.

Kapag tayo’y sumisilong sa ilalim ng mantel ni Maria, nakikitungo sa kaniya, kasama niyang tumatawag sa Diyos, tiyak na magtatagumpay tayo,” Ongtioco said.

(If we seek refuge under the mantle of Mary, conversing with her and joining her call to the Lord, I am assured that we will achieve victory.) 


This year marked the 50th anniversary since Pope St. Paul VI issued on Aug. 26, 1974, a decree declaring Our Lady of La Naval as patroness of Quezon City.

Sto. Domingo Church Parish Priest Fr. Simon Ramos, O.P. told the Varsitarian that the anniversary underscored La Naval’s role as a “healer” in times when the country was divided on many aspects.

“Since Asians, Filipinos specifically, look up to the significant role of women and mothers in our communities as conflict resolvers, healers and consultors, our devotion to the mother of Jesus shaped our lives as a nation,” Ramos said in an interview.

“Her royal image is a reminder that no one can usurp God’s power. No one can dominate and rule over us. There are no unconquerable battles,” he added.

Thousands of Marian devotees did not mind the light rains to gather for the grand procession at 4 p.m. The image, placed on a boat-shaped carroza, traversed Quezon Avenue, D. Tuazon Avenue and Dapitan Street before returning to Santo Domingo Church at about 7 p.m.  

The feast was celebrated throughout Quezon City starting this year after the dioceses of Cubao and Novaliches issued separate decrees ordering all parishes and chapels inside the city to observe the Solemnity of Our Lady of La Naval every second Sunday of October.

“All communities must observe all norms and guidelines in the exercise of this devotion. All are likewise encouraged to promote the devotion and put into practice the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary that lead us closer to her Son, Jesus our Lord,” the declaration of the Cubao diocese, signed by Ongtioco, stated on Sept. 8. With reports from Sheila May S. Balagan and Fernando Pierre Marcel B. Dela Cruz


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