Tuloy po kayo! Be part of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna

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By Nars Padilla

Kafagway Roundup

Friday, April 11, 2014


DURING the Holy Week which starts Monday, my wife Sol and I will spend most of our time at the Shrine of the Brown Madonna along Km. 7, Asin Rd., Sitio Pacac, Brgy. Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet.

Like in previous years we expect a sizable number of Mama Mary devotees from the city, nearby provinces in CAR, La Union, Ilocos, Pangasinan, and from Metro Manila, among others, to visit and pray at the place of worship inside a man made rock cave.

Happily, the Shrine was given a facelift three weeks ago, courtesy of newfound patrons led by Ms. Helen Aquino, president and general manager of Maximum Security and Services Corporation based in Manila and friends from Urdaneta City, Pangasinan headed by Wilfredo and Brenda Layson. Our brand new Shrine benefactors are Baguio couple Carlos and Emily Chan. Welcome to the clan of Mama Mary devotees.

Again, I would like to say that the development and maintenance of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna is purely a work of love from the heart. The edifice is a symbol of our everlasting love, trust and educing faith dedicated to the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary in our unending quest for peace, solidarity, and progress for Filipinos and our country.

I am deeply honored and gratified that the good Lord extended his blessings to me and helped me conceptualize, initiate and coordinate the development of the Shrine some 28 years ago. Work at the Shrine started in earnest with the rank and file of the National Correspondents Club of Baguio at the fore on July 1986, upon the approval of the late Bishop Ernesto Madangdang, Apostolic Vicar of the Baguio and the Mountain Provinces, the St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church authorities in cooperation with the municipal officials of Tuba, headed by the late OIC Mayor Albert Claro and the residents of Sitio Pacac, led by the late WWII veteran Daniel Ignas and the late Victor Dulay.

To honor the graceful and merciful Mother of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior, and to immortalize in her motherly image the Filipino race, the NCCB accordingly named her the “Brown Madonna”. Significantly, the Shrine of the Brown Madonna was inaugurated on the beautiful morning of October 4, 1986 with a concelebrated mass offered by Monsignor Madangeng with Rev. Fr. Fred Jubac from the Recoletos Religious Order. The rest of the story is now part of the Shrine’s history.

May we at this point, welcome our Mama Mary devotees to the Shrine with this simple yet meaningful poem in acrostic I penned one Sunday afternoon.

S – Sacred and loving Ave Maria of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna,
H – Hold me close to your caring and sharing heart and please
R – Remember me always in your intentions and prayers
I – In the name of Jesus Christ, your son,
N – Notwithstanding time and turn of events
E – Everyday of my life, I earnestly desire and need your motherly love.

O – Oh, Mama Mary, whose true affection and eternal
F – Faithfulness to the Redeemer and God the Father is worthy of everlasting adoration and emulation.

T – Things come and go, like the unpredictable four winds but
H- Heaven knows, I praise, glorify and love you with all my heart and being,
E – Every single moment and forever more.

B – Bless all the members of my family and dearly loved ones wherever they may be.
R – Remember us all in your constant joy and prayers to the good Lord.
O – Our daily actions in life are dedicated to you and the Holy Trinity.
W – With sustained vigor, sincerity and enduring fidelity,
N – Now, today, tomorrow and through the years.

M – Mother Immaculate, whose adorable image is enshrined inside a historic rock cave along scenic Asin Road, we
A – Adore and worship you with unblemished loyalty; please always protect us from
D – Danger, harm, untoward incidents, sickness or pain.
O – Oh, Mother of Mercy, heal my weary mind, body and soul.
N – Never let me go astray like a lost sheep in the wilderness
N – Nor walk away from your watchful sight and kind spirit.
A – Always keep me safe in the warmth of your tender embrace, full of happiness and prayers for global peace and solidarity for all mandkind.

Again we are inviting everyone, especially our out of town visitors, to be part of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna, particularly this Lent.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 12, 2014.

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