Expats to grace Virgen Delos Remedios coronation

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Friday, August 12, 2011

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Thousands of Kapampangan devotees from all over the United States will gather at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 3:30 p.m. of September 25 for the 55th Canonical Coronation Anniversary celebration of Virgen de los Remedios.

Vidal Aguas, a Kapampangan expatriate in the United States, told Sun.Star Pampanga that Auxiliary Bishop Pablo David of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga will be the main celebrant, and Filipino priests in Southern California are expected to concelebrate in Eucharistic celebration.

Devotion to Virgen de los Remedios began in France and popularized by St. John Matha, who prayed to the Blessed Mother in his efforts to free slaves.


Then it became popular in Spain, where she became the patroness of different crusades against Muslims. With time, her title changed by the places where she is enshrined, as the Nuestra Senora de Caridad in Cuba.

Through the galleon trades, the devotion was brought to Manila, where the oldest Marian image of the Nuestra Senora de los Remedios is enshrined at Malate Church.

At present, there are 17 churches listed in the Philippines dedicated to Nuestra Senora de los Remedios.

The most popular devotion is Pampanga's Crusade of Charity and Penance, which was entrusted under the patronage of Virgen de los Remedios and initiated by Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero, who incidentally is from Malate.

With the devastation of World War II, Pampanga became a center for communism and breeding ground of socialism. There was a huge gap between rich and poor, thus peasants and farmers were up in arms against their landowners.

Thus in 1952, Bishop Guerrero set the image of Nuestra Senora de los Remedios to visit every church and chapel around the diocese that brought together the faithful in prayer with non-stop recitation of the rosary.

There were daily Masses and the faithful were encouraged to return to the sacraments. Likewise, care for the poor was emphasized where aid was solicited by the host parish and brought to the needy of the next parish.

In between prayers and devotions, folks were working and sharing together for peace.

As recognition of Kapampangan's enthusiastic and deep devotion to Mary, Pope Pius XII bestowed the Canonical Crown on September 08, 1956.

Every September, the coronation rite is reenacted and attended by the faithful of Pampanga in the Philippines, which is highlighted with a Solemn Concelebrated Mass. For five years now, a similar event is being held in Los Angeles.

As in the past year, Latinos are also expected to come. This year's festivity is a joint effort of the Apostolate of Virgen de los Remedios and Betisian Associations of California and Seattle.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 13, 2011.

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