Jun. 03, 2023 11:14 AM
Rose petals showered from the church’s canopy during the welcoming of the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Lourdes from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Quezon City (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The Quiapo Church community ignited the hearts of 1,510 devotees and parishioners through hosting its second Marian pilgrimage from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Quezon City this May 27, 2023. Its pilgrim image of Our Lady of Lourdes arrived in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene at 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon and will stay from May 27 – June 3, 2023.
The Welcoming Rites led by Rev. Fr. Jonathan Noel Mojica, Parochial Vicar, as the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Lourdes will stay from May 27 – June 3, 2023 (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
As part of selected shrines and minor basilicas for visitation in its activity dubbed, Lakbay Lourdes, the pilgrim image was brought to the church as its 7th leg. The procession going to the altar was led by members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Lourdes and was graced with rose petals showered from the canopy by members of the Ladies of the Black Nazarene. This was followed by a short Welcoming Rites officiated by Rev. Fr. Jonathan Noel Mojica, Parochial Vicar.
Rev. Fr. Jonathan Noel Mojica, Parochial Vicar, delivers his homily in the eve of Pentecost Sunday (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
On the eve of Pentecost, the 50th day marking the end of Easter season, Rev. Fr. Mojica connects this solemn birthday of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to this visitation of Our Lady of Lourdes by urging the faithfuls to let the Holy Spirit guide us to reach out to people who are undergoing sufferings and painful experiences to to accompany them in their times of crises as agents of healing and renewal of life through the Holy Spirit. In his words: “Sana po ang lalabas sa ating bibig ay hindi yung maninira o magpapababa ng kapwa natin. Hindi yung magpapahina ng loob ng kapwa Kristiyano natin. Kung hindi, yung magiinspire sa kapwa natin. Ang lalabas sa ating bibig ay hindi mga salitang mananakit kundi salita na nagpapagaling; Salita na hindi magpapahina ng loob kundi mga salita na magpapalakas ng loob sa kabila ng mabigat na pasanain ng buhay” (I hope that what our mouths should utter are not words, that will destroy or degrade our fellow neighbors. Also, words, that will not discourage our fellow Christians, but words that will inspire others. What comes out of our mouths are not hurtful, but words that heal; Words that will not discourage, but words of encouragement despite the heavy burdens of life). Just like how Our Lady of Lourdes is the patroness of the sick and healing, beyond physical healing, he adds: “…Magandang tingnan natin ang mga taong napanghihinaan na ng loob, nabibigatan sa buhay, nagkakaroon ng anxiety lalong lalo na kung depression ang pinagdadanan. Kailangan nila ng salitang magpapagaling sa kanila…ang hininga natin at salita ang magdulot sa kanila ng kanilang kagalingan sa kanilang karamdaman” (…It is important also to look into the people who are discouraged, burdened by life, having anxiety, especially if they are going through depression. They need words of healing…our breath and words, that will heal from their illness).
In a brief interview with Sr. Carmencita ‘Chit’ Jandusay affiliated with the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, this ‘Lakbay Lourdes’ activity started last April 15, 2023, and will conclude by August 19, 2023. According to her, the target eighteen churches to visit corresponds to the eighteen apparitions of the Lady to St. Bernadette Soubirous. This pilgrimage, to be precise, is the launching and for Ms. Jandusay, she hopes this will continue in the succeeding years. Also, she shared that ‘Lakbay Lourdes’ activity aims to ‘propagate devotion to the Our Lady of Lourdes’.
Portrait of St. Bernadette Soubirous and the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Lourdes in the altar (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
According to the website, ‘Catholic Shrine Basilica’, the title ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ is attributed to the Virgin Mary, whose eighteen apparitions to St. Bernadette Soubirous had taken place in Massabielle grotto in Lourdes, France. Based on ‘History Today’ website, the first apparition had begun on February 11, 1858, whom the latter described the Lady as. Highlights of the apparition are as follows: On February 25, Bernadette had dug the ground from which a spring welled up and is now presently believed to be miraculous. On March 25, 1858, during the Feast of the Annunciation, she witnessed the crucial revelation of the Lady’s identity as the ‘I am the Immaculate Concepcion’ confirming the dogma of Catholic faith as declared by Pope Pius IX in 1854. The last recorded apparition was on July 16, 1858, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. From ‘The Conversation’ article, there are around 6 million pilgrims worldwide travelling to the shrine of Lourdes yearly praying for the healing interventions of the Lady in Grotto. As of 2018, there were reported cases of 70 Lourdes’ miracles by church officials despite advancements in scientific knowledge and processes. The most recently declared – the 70th miracle was the healing of a French nun, Sr. Bernadette Moriau, who had been sick and on a wheelchair for 30 years.
Throughout the visit of the Our Lady of Lourdes here in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, may we seek for her beyond the apparitions, but rather may we discover healing, renewal and peace in all our inner daily sufferings may that be in our physical body or spiritual experiences. In the end, may we also find the will to help our ‘sick’ brethren, who need prayers and penance through the miraculous intercession of our Mother Mary to her son, our Savior Jesus.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us! Viva La Virgen de Lourdes!
– Kidanzac A. Tallada | EIAM & ADRM