400 years celebration of the Arrival of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
(Manila, Philippines) Thousand of devotees from all walks of life trooped to the historic Quirino grandstand last Friday. Devotees came from Manila, Project 6, 7, and 8 in Quezon City while some are from the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, La Union as-as far as Pangasinan. There were some foreigners who participated in the big event which marked the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in the country.
There was a fluvial procession in Manila Bay then the image arrived past 5:00 am at the Philippine Coast Guard compound then a short procession was held. The mass was celebrated by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines Romulo Valles ( Archbishop of Davao) which started around past 7:00 am.
Before the high mass, there was a video presentation that highlighted the works of the Augustinian order in the country.
The activities relive the arrival of the beloved icon from Mexico in 1618 with the third mission from the Order of Augustinian Recollects as a present from the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Acapulco, Mexico.
The image was first enshrined in Bagumbayan, now Luneta Park in Manila, and was enthroned three years later in 1621 at the first San Sebastian church in Quiapo.
The arrival of the image began a devotion that remains popular throughout the country today, as witnessed by the number of Filipinos who continue to wear the distinctive brown scapular, which is associated with the image, as well as the growing number of parishes and schools placed under her patronage.
After the mass, a short “Thanksgiving” breakfast was held at the tent area of the Manila Hotel with the Mexican ambassador to the Philippines and the Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican in attendance.
The mass was followed by traslacion, with devotees accompanying the Nuestra Senora del Carmel de San Sebastian from P.Burgos, Finance Road, Ayala Bridge, Carlos Palanca, Villalobos, Plaza Miranda then turning to Quiapo Boulevard then Quiapo underpass then it passed several important streets like Arlegui, Legarda, San Rafael and Plaza Del Carmel within the district.
Veneration began past 11:00 am led by the students of Saint Rita College, San Sebastian College, and devotees from Quiapo. Some devotees also walked barefooted as an act of devotion. Cultural performers danced traditional dances and rondalla music was played by the San Sebastian Basilica rondalla group.
A high mass was celebrated and a fireworks display was organized by the Binondo Firecracker and Fireworks Lovers Association led by Mr. Ralph Soriano. A re-enthronement was held later at 6:00 pm. There was so much fanfare at the basilica ground with a small exhibition and a conference about the devotion was held a day after.
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