SANTA RITA -- The Vicariate of Saint Joseph has been designated as this year's host of the annual canonical coronation commemoration of the province's patron Virgen delos Remedios.
Devotees from all over Pampanga will gather at the Provincial Capitol of Pampanga on September 8 for the 61st Canonical Coronation Anniversary celebration of Virgen delos Remedios and tasked for this year's event is the Vicariate of Saint Joseph.
In line with this the Crusade of Charity and Penance, the images of Virgen delos Remedios and Santo Cristo del Perdon have entered the Vicariate of Saint Joseph and are currently at Virgen delos Remedios Parish in Santa Rita town.
The crusade will move to Santa Rita de Cascia Parish on May 18.
Devotion to Virgen Delos 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 Señora de Caridad in Cuba.
Through the galleon trades, the devotion was brought to Manila, where the oldest Marian image of the Nuestra Señora delos Remedios is enshrined at Malate Church. At present, there are 17 churches listed in the Philippines dedicated to Nuestra Señora 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 Señora 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 8, 1956.