Visitors told: Pray while looking at Marian images-A A +A
Saturday, September 7, 2013
VISITORS to the “Ave Maria Purissima” exhibit are encouraged to look at the more than 20 images of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to spend quiet time to pray for peace.
“Remember the message of (Our Lady of) Lourdes. ‘Bernadette, penance, penance, penance. Mankind should do penance,’” said iconographer and exhibit curator Louie Nacorda.
He was referring to the words of Our Lady of Lourdes to the visionary St. Bernadette Soubirous.
The exhibit opening coincided with the eve of the birthday of Mary and the day for prayer vigil and fasting announced by Pope
Francis earlier in the week for peace in war-torn Syria.
Praying vigils, fasting
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma had directed all parishes in the Archdiocese of Cebu to hold prayer vigils and practice fasting last night.
“I hope people will come (to the museum), sit down and pray,” he said.
The exhibit called was officially opened yesterday afternoon at the Cebu Cathedral Museum.
Nacorda said there are 27 images on display, with each image representing a popular Marian devotion in Cebu Province, including the Our Lady of China, a statue of Mary carrying the Infant Jesus wearing a red silk robe.
The image, he said, was chosen because the exhibit venue was once the chapel of the Our Lady of China.
Another icon is the Patrocinio de la Nuestra Señora, the patroness of Boljoon parish. The church is the only one in Cebu listed as a national cultural treasure of the Philippines.
The Our Lady of the Visitation of Carcar is the oldest in the collection and is on loan from the St. Catherine of Alexandria parish.
Fr. Brian Brigoli, Archdiocesan Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church vice chairman, said the exhibit is one way for Catholics to express their faith.
“(In order to) increase our confidence in the Virgin Mary and the saints. (But) our foremost concern is to become witnesses to our faith as we express our devotion to Mary,” he said.
Nacorda said a notable last-minute addition to the exhibit is the Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces from Lipa City, Batangas.
According to his research, it was the late Cebuano Bishop Mariano Gaviola who revived the devotion in 1991.
Nacorda said a miracle of a shower of roses occurred in the 1950s in Lipa City, but this was declared a hoax by a former Papal Nuncio, who also ordered the transfer of bishops and the convent superior.
The devotion to the Mediatrix of all Graces is now openly promoted by the incumbent Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles.
The replica of the image on display is owned by the Gaviola family.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 08, 2013.