Manila Archdiocese Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula will preside over a high mass (Misa Mayor) on Thursday, May 19, at 6 p.m. at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Senora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance), on the corner of M.H. del Pilar and A. Flores Streets, Ermita, Manila, in solemn commemoration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guidance, the revered patron saint of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), navigators, and travelers.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will serve as homilist. The 451st finding of the revered image will also be celebrated.
Holy masses will also be offered at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., and at 12:15 p.m. Novena prayers and novena masses were held from May 10 to 18.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Nuestra Senora de Guia: Inang Gumagabay Patungo sa Buhay na Puno ng Pag-asa.”
Also known as the Ermita Church, the parish church is considered as one of the foremost Marian shrines in the country. It was erected right on the site where the image of the wooden Black Madonna was found on May 19, 1571, making it the oldest among all those venerated in the Philippines.
In 1578, the king of Spain, in a royal decree, declared Our Lady of Guidance, which is depicted as the Immaculate Conception, as the “sworn patroness” of the city of Manila.
On December 30, 1955, Pope Pius XII granted the image a canonical coronation.
During the papal visit in January 2015, the 16th century image of Our Lady of Guidance was temporarily transferred to the Apostolic Nuncio on Taft Avenue, Manila, where Pope Francis stayed. The image was also brought to the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta for Pope Francis’ concluding mass.