By Christina Hermoso
Thousands of devotees consisting of homecoming Bicolanos, pilgrims, and tourists are expected to crowd the Naga River banks at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, for the much-awaited grand fluvial procession of Our Lady of Penafrancia and the Divino Rostro (Holy Face of Jesus) that will be brought back to the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia.
As has been the tradition, devotees will be waving white handkerchiefs while praying the holy rosary, singing hymns, or kneeling down in prayer as the carriage passes by.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Mary, Mother of the Church, the Communion of Life, Love, and Truth in the Year of the Parish.”
The fluvial procession along the Naga River serves as the highlight of the annual Feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia as the images of “Ina,” the patroness of the Bicol Region, and the Divino Rostro are brought back to the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia, from the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, where the images were brought, for the novena masses last September 8 via the Traslacion procession.
Several activities will be held tomorrow including a penitential procession at 3 a.m. A pontifical mass will be celebrated byCaceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona at the Naga Cathedral at 6 a.m., to be followed by a second pontifical mass to be officiated by Bishop Joel Baylon at 10 a.m.
Church bells will peal at 12 noon. A community mass will be held at 2 p.m. at the Quadricentennial Arch and at the Tabuco Bridge Landing. A procession to Tabuco Bridge Landing will start at 3 p.m. Confession rites will be held at the basilica grounds from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., to be followed by a pontifical mass at 6:30 p.m. to be officiated by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo.
The solemn Feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia will be observed tomorrow, September 17 with a series of pontifical masses, marking the 307th year of widespread devotion to “Ina.”
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