Fatima from Portugal arrives in Bataan

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    BALANGA CITY- Bishop Socrates “Soc” Villegas led a big number of devotees in welcoming the arrival here Thursday afternoon of the International Image of Our Lady of Fatima from Portugal.

    “Ang mensahe ng Our Lady of Fatima ay kapayapaan sa mundo na kailangan natin sa pamamagitan ng sakripisyo at panalangin,” the bishop of the Diocese of Balanga said as students, nuns and adults kissed his hands while waiting for the arrival of the Image from the City of San Fernando in Pampanga.

    Bishop Soc said the International Image of Our lady of Fatima will stay at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Balanga overnight and  transferred to Hermosa, Bataan the next morning and then before lunch to Tarlac. The revered statue arrived in the Philippines through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last January 28.

    Fr. Perry Medina, parish priest of St. Joseph Cathedral, said a welcome Mass was scheduled at 5:15 in the afternoon of Thursday and a farewell mass at 6:30 in the morning of Friday before the transfer to Hermosa.

    Honor guards composed of members of the Knights of Columbus carried the image during the procession from the arrival area at the crossroads leading to the city proper to the St. Joseph Cathedral less than a kilometer away.

    Honor guards raised their sabers in salute as the image passed the church aisle for enthronement at a special place in front of the altar decked with candles and flowers.  Bishop Soc and Fr. Perry stood watch as people in the overflowing cathedral clapped and sang hymn of praise for the Virgin Mary.

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