Pandemic limits devotees to feast honoring W. Visayas’ patroness saint

Published February 2, 2021, 5:03 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—The continuing threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has limited the number of devotees to the February 2 feast of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candles), the patronnes saint of Western Visayas region.

THE FAITHFUL—Devotees flock to the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo City Tuesday to honor the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria or Our Lady of Candles. But with the threat of COVID-19, only limited devotees are allowed at the church’s premises. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)
THE FAITHFUL—Devotees flock to the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo City Tuesday to honor the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria or Our Lady of Candles. But with the threat of COVID-19, only limited devotees are allowed at the church’s premises. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

The faithful who flocked Tuesday at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral to attend masses and pray are mostly made to stay outside the church and not inside.  As physical distancing protocols were implemented, they were mostly made to stand a feet apart.

The scenario was different from the previous years as thousands from Iloilo City as well as the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental would show up in thousands to honor the only image of the Virgin Mary to have been crowned by a pope.

The Archdiocese of Jaro was not able to have a grand celebration marking the 40th year after Saint John Paul II canonically crowned Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria during a February 1981 visit as a Roman Catholic pope.

But for Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo, the annual February 2 feast of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is a gift of motherhood, discipleship and mission in these tough times of pandemic as well as the country commemorating 500 years of Christianity.

This year’s annual religious feast had several activities scrapped due to COVID-19’s threat.

Fr. Angelo Colada, the archdiocese’s social communications director, said devotees were not allowed to climb and touch the image of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.

Church officials also scrapped the afternoon procession of religious images along the major streets of Jaro district.

“I hope the people understood of the limitations set for this year,” Colada told Manila Bulletin.

The Jaro Fiesta is supposed to be the biggest fiesta in Western Visayas region. But there were no major non-religious activities this year. Authorities canceled the carnival, crowning of fiesta queen and a multi-million cock derby contest.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news","visayas","news"]
[2610522,2881210,2881177,2881199,2881152,2881147,2881122]