May. 10, 2023 04:36 PM
Devotees and parishioners meeting the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage carried inside the church marking the start of the ‘Pagdalaw ng Ina sa Anak’ this Season of Pilgrimage 2023 (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
In Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr.’s, Rector & Parish Priest, words: “Walang makapipigil hindi lang sa atin sa pagpapahayag ng ating pagmamahal sa ating Mahal na Ina. Wala ring makakapigil sa ating Mahal na Ina na patuloy niya tayo subabayan at gabayan sa ating paglalakbay sa buhay” (Nothing can stop us not only from expressing our love for our Dear Mother, nothing can also stop our Dear Mother from continuing to accompany and guide us on our journey in life), this year’s ‘Pilgrimage Season’ will have seen the resumption of the traditional ‘Alay Lakad’ starting from the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene to the Antiplolo Cathedral after three years of waiting.
The women dancing while hailing to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Antipolo (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
On April 29, 2023, the Quiapo Church community, through the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene hosted the arrival of the image of the Nuestra Señora dela Paz y Buen Viaje, commonly known as ‘Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage’ or fondly called ‘Our Lady of Antipolo. At 10:00 a.m., the image was welcomed through a ‘karakol’ by volunteers from ministries / organizations and with about 1,230 people. During his homily, Rev. Fr. Sescon emphasized three points highlighting the significant relationship between the Our Lady of Antipolo to Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno, dubbed in this event ‘Pagdalaw ng Ina sa Anak’ (Visitation of Mother to Son).
Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr., Rector & Parish Priest, delivering his homily explaining the significant relationship between Our Lady of Peace & Good Voyage to Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The first point was they’re of the same origin and color. Historically, both images have come from Mexico through the successful galleon trade journey via Acapulco-Manila route and dark complexion. In his words, “Dinala sila dito upang bahagi ng misyon ng Simbahan. Dinala sila bilang tagapangalaga at tagapaggaabay para lalong maipahayag ang Mabiting Balita” (They were brought here to be part of the Church’s mission. They were brought as guardians and guides to announce further the Good News). Through their likeness and similarity of tales of how they were introduced and integrated as part of our contemporary religion and faith, which culturally appeals and identifies to us, Filipinos, he added, “Sinasabi sa atin ngayon ni Hesus at Maria kaparehas din natin sila ng pinanggalingan sapgakat galing lahat tayo sa Diyos” (Today, Jesus and Mary are telling us that they are of the same origin as us because we all come from God).
Close-up pictures of the Our Lady of Peace & Good Voyage (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The second point was they have undergone the same ordeals. Both images were ‘wounded’ because of our sins – sins of mankind. The Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno had suffered wounds when he had carried the cross, the instrument of our salvation. For the Our Lady of Antipolo, the scars of the wounds had been sustained from the atrocities during the age of revolution and wars, after it was first brought here in this country. Despite the sacrilegious attempts against the image, while it did not become successful, the inflicted damages had remained despite efforts to restore the original aesthetics of the image. These records showed as Rev. Fr. Sescon stated: “Kung kaya nga ang pagdalaw ng Mahal na Ina sa Anak ay maging pagkakataon sana upang magsuri tayo, magsisi sa ating mga kasalanan at magbalik loob sa Diyos” (If so, the visit of the Beloved Mother to her Son will be an opportunity for us to examine ourselves, repent our sins and turn back to God).
The Mother & Son (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The third point is that they lead us to the same destination. In both Mother Mary and Jesus words of submission: ‘Ako ang alipin ng Panginoon, maganap nawa sakin ang wika mo’ (I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word) and ‘Hindi ang kalooban ko kundi ang kalooban mo ang matupad’ (Not my will, but yours be done), respectively, this teaches us that the path of our life leads us to the Lord. As such, Rev. Fr. Sescon conveyed: “Opo ito rin ang kanilang mensahe sa atin. Ang dapat patunguhan ng ating buhay ang Diyos. Ang ating iniisip, sinasabi, ginagagwa, ang ating mga ugnayan, relasyon, ang ating samahan, ang ating kabuhayan, ang lahat ng ito, ang mga desisyon natin sa buhay kaugnay sa kalooban ng Diyos, patungo sa kalooban ng Diyos sapagakt ito ang tunay na hantungan ng ating paglalakabya sa buhay” (Yes, this is also their message to us. The purpose of our life is God. What we think, say, do, our relationships, our affiliations, our livelihood, all of this, our decisions in life in relation to the will of God, towards the will of God because this is the true destination of our journey in life).
Left: Rev. Fr. Reynante Tolentino, Shrine Rector & Parish Administrator of the International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage and Right: Rev. France Baasis delivering his homily during the Farewell Rites for the Our Lady of Antipolo (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The Farwell Rites as integrated in the Holy Mass at 6:00 p.m. on April 30, 2023, was presided by Rev. Fr. Reynante Tolentino, Shrine Rector & Parish Administrator of the International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage this Good Shepherd Sunday. This most extraordinary connection between the ‘Mother & Son’ is explained further during the 4th Sunday of Easter Season, known as the ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’. Rev. France Baasis, the homilist in that occasion interprets: “Ang kanyang titulo ay Mahal na Ina ng Kapayapaan at Mabuting Paglakakbay. Si Maria hindi siya ang kapayapaan kundi siya ang Ina ng Kapayaapaan. Siya ang ina ni Hesus. Ibig sabihin ang kapayapaan sino? Si Hesus. Ang ating Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno. Kaya sa lahat ng mga tinig na ating pinakikinggan, ang ating pakinggan ay yung bumubulong ng kapayapaan” (Her title is Dear Mother of Peace and Good Voyage. Mary is not peace but she is the Mother of Peace. She is the mother of Jesus. Who is this Peace? Jesus. Our Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno. So of all the voices we listen to, the one we listen to is the one who reveals peace). Just like how a shepherd would call on his flock to safety and stability, we are like God’s flock being called to peace in a world full of conflicts, hostilities, wars and power struggles. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is our Good Shepherd, whom we should heed to His voice and follow.
Walk for Peace 2023 with the image of Our Lady of Antipolo to be returned to her home (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
4,700 faithful witnessing the blessed image of Our Lady of Antipolo returned to her home. The ‘Walk-for-Peace’ kickstarted from the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene to Antipolo Cathedral. With this year’s theme of ‘Ahunan sa Antipolo,’ Birhen ng Antipolo: Puspos ng Kababaang-loob, Ating Tanglaw sa Pananampalataya’, this revival of tradition speaks volumes of pilgrims’ answered prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving testimonies through the intercession of Mother Mary, venerated and devoted upon up to this day. The Pilgrimage Season 2023 started on the first Tuesday of May, May 2, the solemnity of the Virgin of Antipolo, and will run up to July 4, 2023. Viva La Virgen! Our Lady of Antipolo, pray for us!
– Kidanzac A. Tallada | EIAM & ADRM