ILOILO CITY – Devotees of the patron saint of Western Visayas, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candles), were urged to open their hearts to their fellow human beings.
“Kon aton tan-awon ang aton tagipusoon, may mga lugar dira nga basi pa lang may kadulom. Naga pangayo kita sang bulig sa aton nanay, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, nga buksan niya ang aton tagiuson agod masudlan sang kapawa (If we look at it, our hearts have areas of darkness. We ask help from our mother, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, to open our hearts so that light can enter),” said Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo of the Archdiocese of Jaro in a Mass on her feast day at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral here on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Lazo told the faithful that opening their hearts is important as it encompasses the essence of synodality as Christians during the Feast of the Blessed Mother.
The only Marian image in the country to be canonically crowned by the Pope himself was not only honored by Ilonggos but also by the faithful from the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental.
Pope John Paul II, now St. John Paul II, crowned Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria during a February 1981 visit.