Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Feature Article
10,000 flock to VDLR 61st Canonical Coronation at Capitol
By Ashley Manabat

Sep 12, 2017

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO –The Catholic faithful, numbering at least 10,000, flocked to the Capitol grounds here at dawn on Friday for the 61st Canonical Coronation of the Virgen de los Remedios (VDLR) and devotion to the Santo Cristo Del Perdon.

This is the third time that the annual paired devotion was held at the Capitol grounds with the fi rst in 1956 and then last year for the 60th anniversary of the canonical coronation.

Mary, venerated by the Catholic faithful, is officially designated as the Patroness of Pampanga and was granted its official tle - Virgen de los Remedios - through a Papal Bull by Pope Pius XII on July 15, 1956 with a Canonical Coronation on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary on September 8.

During his homily, Archbishop Florentino “Dong” Lavarias reminded the faithful that Mary is the fulfi llment of the words of the prophet Isiah when she gave birth to Jesus as the promised Savior.

“That is why the Virgin Mary is not an accident like Pontius Pilate because she is part of our salvation,” Lavarias pointed out.

“This is the reason why we Catholics give very much importance to the Virgin Mary,” he said.

However, Lavarias clarified that it is not the Virgin Mary who grants and provides us with our needs but God through her son Jesus and the Virgin Mary is just an instrument of the Almighty Father.

For us Catholics, the Archbishop said, “we put Mary in the center because God has put her in the center in our salvation.”

“She is an instrument so that you and me will be cured and feel the real salvation. This is the essence of our devotion to the Virgin Mary,” he stressed.

“This is not an invention but the fruit of our own situation of how in the time of the prophet Isiah when the people are hard-pressed because many were poor and many were forced into slavery but the Lord promised to give them comfort.”

“This also mirrors our own history because after the end of World War II, not only our hardships persist but also the bitterness and cruelty of poverty and division.”

“And because of our experience, we thanked the Lord for using our fi rst Archbishop Cesar Ma. Guerrero as an instrument to look back on what our Lord made for us.”

“Let us face and ask the help of Mary may she bring us back again to God, may she unite us like a true Kapampangan community and the true son of God is the Lord Jesus Christ,” Lavarias said.

“That though this devotion, the true meaning of what we are doing when the Virgin Mary was brought to the different places in our province, slowly the poor and those who were forced into slavery felt comfort and rest. The deep devotion to the Virgin Mary bore fruit. Then there was peace.”

But Lavarias asked; who gave that? The Virgin Mary? No, he said, it was God using the Virgin Mary as an instrument.

Gov. Lilia G. Pineda read a prayer before the fi nal rites.

Aside from the governor, also present were Vice Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda and Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd district, Pamp.).

According to Angie Blanco of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, more than 10,000 came to the event. She said the capitol grounds can accommodate an estimated 10,000 people but those who came even over- flowed onto the main road.

This year’s theme is “Maria: Indu Ning Capaldanan, Bubucluran ding Comunidad Capampangan Cang Cristo.”

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