ANTIPOLO CITY — Pilgrims and the faithful have started flocking to the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, otherwise known as the Antipolo Cathedral, as the Christmas season draws near.
On Sunday, Nov. 29, hundreds of church goers attended the 95th anniversary of the canonical coronation of the 17th century old brown image of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Manila Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula re-enacting the 1926 event in Luneta, Manila.
While the shrine observed the maximum number of attendees as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the church grounds were almost filled with people, young and old, who witnessed the re-enactment rites on a giant screen.
Antipolo Bishop Francis Mendoza De Leon and several other bishops from other dioceses attended the historic event which was also aired live via the Facebook page of the Birhen ng Antipolo-Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.
The original Marian image was crowned by Cardinal Advincula using the original gold crown which then Manila Archbishop Michael J. O’Doherty put on the head of the brown Marian image in 1926 in Luneta.
Shrine rector Rev. Fr. Reynante Tolentino told Manila Bulletin that the red and blue gown image worn by the Virgin of Antipolo is a donation of one of the devotees from Obando, Bulacan.
Mayor Andrea Ynares and Vice Mayor Josefina Gatlabayan handed over the gold canonical crown of the Virgin of Antipolo during the ceremony.
The church façade was lighted in purple, to represent the color of the first candle in the Advent Wreath as the event coincided with the first Sunday of Advent in the Roman Catholic calendar.
Other events are scheduled this week until December, including the novena mass in preparation for the December 8 feast day of the Immaculate Conception.