Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 22nd: Philippines - La Naval de Manila

Feast Day: Second Sunday of October

Picture: Francis Jason Diaz Perez III (from La Naval de Manila Online)
Of the twenty-three canonically crowned images of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Philippines, the image of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary – La Naval de Manila hold primacy in history and beauty. One hundred years ago, on October 5, 1907, such image with its distinct Oriental features, became the first canonically crowned Marian image of the country and in Asia.

Crowning a Marian image is the Church’s recognition of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as Queen of Heaven and Earth. The Pope thru a Papal bull, expresses and joins the faithful of a certain place in affirming the devotion to Mary. Pope Pius XII explains: Jesus is King throughout all eternity by nature and by right of conquest; through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him, Mary is Queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest, and by singular choice (of the Father). And her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion. (May 13, 1946 from the Vatican Radio Message to Fatima, where he sent a Cardinal legate for the crowning of the image).

Mary’s Queenship is in the spirit of sharing in the royalty of her Son, chosen by God. It is for such reason that the church realizes the divine motherhood of Mary. Just as we worship Jesus as King, so we venerate Mary, His Mother. Through the Canonical Coronation Rites, a Marian image exemplifies the faith and hope of a locality entrusted to Mary’s maternal love and protection.

The image of Our Lady of the Rosary – La Naval de Manila assumed its historical significance in the triumphant battles of La Naval in the Philippine seas in 1646. The combined Filipino-Spanish forces against the Dutch marauders led the victory of the five naval battles known in history as the "Battles of La Naval". The Church council of 1662 declared it as miraculous and ordered it to be preached and celebrated in solemn festivities which endures for over three centuries. Eventually, the historically old and acclaimed image that serves as a beacon of faith among the people was canonically crowned on October 5, 1907 by the order of Pope Pius X through Msgr. Ambrose Agius, OSB.

In 1941, her shrine in Intramuros was bombed. She was safely hidden for a time in the old church's vault, and later transferred to the UST (University of Santo Tomas) chapel. In 1954, La Naval was led in solemn procession to Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City which was declared as the National Shrine of the Queen of the Holy Rosary. In 1973, La Naval was acknowledged as the Patroness of Quezon City. In 1986, a replica of the image of La Naval was present when Jaime Cardinal Sin called for "people power".

Through the years, Filipinos pay homage to Our Lady in the annual La Naval festivities manifesting our fervent spirituality and tradition. In the Philippines where there exists no royal lineage and amassed in poverty, the queenly stature of Mary may be found paradoxical. However, it is in God’s great promise of a glorious resurrection that we find fitting praise for our Blessed Mother, which one day we hope to share with her. (Radio Maria Philippines)

I have not been able to find many links for La Naval de Manila. There is an article in the There's Something About Mary series by Ann Ball at Holy Spirit International, and lots of information at the La Naval de Manila Online blog;

There are a number of movies on YouTube showing La Naval de Manila, including this short clip of the feast day procession and this photo montage.

October 2007 saw the centennial celebrations of the veneration of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary - La Naval de Manila.

In the picture above the statue of Our Lady is wearing the "Number 2" vestments. These are in need of restoration and not currently in use.
La Naval de Manila, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines, Mirror of Justice, help us to pray for the greatest victory, the victory of Your Son's Peace in the Philippines and the entire world. We ask you to help us remember that one of your most blessed titles is Queen of Peace. (from Holy Spirit International)

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