Sunday, 17 May 2015

Pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Virgin of Antipolo

Original in Spanish

[UPDATE: New video added]

[UPDATE: Video added]

Today, Saturday, 16 May 2015, the faithful of the Traditional Latin Mass made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in the city of Antipolo.

An old image, brought from Mexico in 1626 by Don Juan Niño de Tabora, destined to the government and captaincy general of the Philippine Islands, she was acclaimed as the one who protected the voyage and kept it without harm, for which reason she received the title of Peace and Good Voyage. Don Juan entrusted the image to the Jesuit priests of the church of Saint Ignatius in Intramuros.

Don Juan having died, the image passed ownership to the Jesuits fathers who established their mission in what would later be Antipolo, where, when the church was being constructed, many times the image left her altar only to reappear on the top of a breadfruit tree (Artocarpus incisa), known in the locality as tipolo, which later gave its name to the place. The church transferred to the site of the said tree, and its trunk was made into the first pedestal whereupon the Virgin stood for many years afterwards.

As patroness of the Manila galleon trade, she crossed the Pacific six times in a voyage from Manila to Acapulo, and back, between 1648 and 1748. Her triumphant return to Antipolo after her last voyage was celebrated with a biduum of great feasting and rejoicing, securing the ascent of the Royal Chapel of Manila (which then included a large number of trebles with its precentors and succentors, choirmaster and chaplain) to her hallowed precincts to sing the Masses and the Offices in her honour.

The Virgin came down once again to Manila in 1904 for the silver anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. She returned to Manila in 1926 for her episcopal coronation from the hands of Msgr. Michael O’Doherty, then archbishop of Manila. In 1944, during the War, she took refuge in Quiapo, after having been hidden under the convent floor and then in the hills between Antipolo and Angono. And more recently, she graced with her presence the celebrations of the Marian Year of 1954.

Owing to these voyages, both in epochs past and in our times, she is now known as the most travelled of Our Lady in the Philippines. The old church of Antipolo was first burnt in the Chinese uprising of 1639, and afterwards was damaged in the earthquakes of 1645, 1824 and 1863, and finally destroyed by Allied bombing during the War. The Virgin is now kept the present church of Antipolo, see of the diocese of Antipolo, and she presides from her most ample niche placed upon the topmost story of the principal altarpiece, casting her tender and maternal gaze upon all devotees and faithful that surround her.

Mass started at 3.00 in the afternoon, with the necessary ceremonies.

At the Epistle and at the Gospel.

The celebrant delivered a short sermon, admonishing the many pilgrims that assisted at Mass (that the cathedral was almost filled), that we all are pilgrims of the world; that while we live on earth, we are also citizens of heaven; and that our true fatherland is that in which we shall forever rejoice in the beatific vision of the Blessed Trinity.

The Liturgy continued according to custom.

During the Consecration.

After the priest’s Communion, Holy Communion was distributed to the faithful.

After the dismissal, the celebrant read the last Gospel of Saint John.

After the final blessing and before the recession, the image of the Virgin of Antipolo was incensed while the choir sung the traditional hymn Estrella de Antipolo and the invocation Reina y Madre de Filipinas.

María, bella estrella de Antipolo,
encanto del Señor,
te aclama nuestra voz,
en Filipinas Reina,
mande en ella,
y en cada corazón.

¡Cantos de triunfo y loor!,
o filipinos, no ceséis de entonar
a la que trajo a Dios,
que es nuestra Reina,
a ella sin fin rendid

Finally, the blessing at the sacristy.

As long as our fervour be pure and holy, the miraculous Virgin of Antipolo will protect us.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

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