Manila Archdiocese Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo led the solemn declaration of Santa Ana Church (Our Lady of the Abandoned) in Santa Ana, Manila as a new National Shrine recently.
The declaration coincided with the parish fiesta on May 12, which is observed as the feast day of Our Lady of the Abandoned. The holy mass was attended by officials and members of the clergy of the Manila archdiocese and local government leaders including Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Manila Vice Mayor Dr. Honey Lacuna.
In his homily, Bishop Pabillo stressed that more than the recognition, the title serves as an honor as well as a huge responsibility as a center of spirituality.
“The recognition as a national shrine is both an honor and a huge responsibility. As a parish, it oversees the spiritual needs of its flock but as a national shrine, its spiritual task now involves the whole country. The shrine is a center of spirituality for all Filipinos,” Pabillo said.
The Church leader encouraged the faithful to make Our Lady of the Abandoned a source of inspiration in helping those who are in need.
Special rites held during the mass include the reenactment of the offering of Baston de Mando by the former Governor General Rev. Fr. Francisco de la Cuesta on September 12, 1720. The Baston de Mando was a symbol of power and authority by a Governor-General during the Spanish Colonial period. Baston de Mando is the title conferred to the Our Lady of the Abandoned as the “La Governadora de Manila.” The unveiling of the markers below the bell tower of the church followed the mass. (Christina I. Hermoso)