By Christina Hermoso
A series of Pontifical masses will be celebrated on Sunday, September 17, at the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City in Camarines Sur, in solemn observance of the Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, fondly called by devotees as “Ina” (mother), the highly revered patroness of the Bicol Region.
With the theme “Mary: Mother of the Church, the Communion of Life, Love, and Truth in the Year of the Parish,” tomorrow will mark the 307th year of widespread devotion to the Blessed Mother in the region.
Archbishop Gilbert Garcera will celebrate the holy mass at 6:30 a.m., to be followed by Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona at 8 a.m. Bishop Jose Rojas will officiate the mass at 9:30 a.m., while Bishop Lucilo Quiambao will preside at 11 a.m. Bishop Benjamin Almoneda will lead the Eucharistic celebration at 5 p.m. while the last Pontifical mass will be celebrated by Bishop Manolo de los Santos at 6 p.m.
Novena masses were held from September 8 to 16.
Rites in celebration of the feast were also observed in other places such as Metro Manila, where triduum novena masses and a procession were organized by the Peñafrancia Devotees Association in Metro Manila.
Feast masses in honor of “Ina” were organized as well by Bicolanos and devotees who are now residing abroad such as in the United States.
Meanwhile, thousands of homecoming Bicolanos and devotees witnessed yesterday afternoon the much-awaited grand fluvial procession along the Naga River that brought back the images of Our Lady and the Divino Rostro (Holy Face of Jesus) from the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to the Basilica Minore.
Devotion to “Ina” started in 1710 with the small community of Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarrubias, and has grown and become widespread and has extended even to non-Bicolanos.
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