Sunday, June 15, 2008

Visit to Our Lady Of Mananoag

After visiting the amusing Tacsiyapo Wall in Tarlac, we headed to our next destination...the church of Our Lady of Manaoag. I'm always hoping to visit this place ever since and I'm really glad to had it finally granted. Visiting the church with my familly was indeed a blessing for me and will be kept as one of my most treasured and memorable experience. We may not be that religous, but introducing to Sam at an early time the importance of being a good servant of God and thanking him for all the blessing she received is really important. Still looking forward to visit the church again in the future ni matter how far it is.

Manaoag Pangasinan is one of the Philippines pilgrimage centers, thanks to the presence of the Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine, home to the image of the Nuestra SeƱora del Rosario (i.e., Our Lady of the Rosary), which is believed to have miraculous powers. Non-Catholics may scoff at such idolatrous devotion, but that has not deterred millions of Filipino Catholics from visiting the shrine and venerating this representation of the Virgin Mary.

The image of Mary itself is said to have been brought to the Philippine Islands by way of Acapulco, Mexico by Padre Juan de San Jacinto around 400 years ago. Folk history even declares that it was the Virgin herself that designated where the church to house her image was to be built. Nowadays, pilgrims visit the church all year round but it is especially busy during the summer months of April and May. Many leave their homes before daybreak just to reach the morning masses in the shrine and to be the first in line to touch the image's robes through a small hole at the back of the altar.

Trivia:The church of Our Lady of Manaoag was established 400 years ago. Ten years after which, The ivory image was brought to the Philippines by Padre Juan de San Jacinto from Spain via Acapulco. Folk tradition has it that the Blessed Mother mary Herself designated the place where the church would be built. The church and Our Lady passed through unnumbered historical events, and remain unmoved by them.

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