CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Vicariate of Saint Joseph will host hundreds of devotees from all over Pampanga at the Provincial Capitol here at 4 a.m., September 8, for the 61st Canonical Coronation Anniversary celebration of Virgen Delos Remedios.
The return to the Capitol grounds will be held for the second time since last year and is in remembrance of the first canonical coronation some 60 years ago.
There will be a vigil at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando on the eve of the coronation with a Taize Prayer service at 12 midnight.
Opening Rites at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando will start at 2:00 a.m. of September 8.
This year's theme is "Maria: Indu Ning Capaldanan, Bubucluran ding Comunidad Capampangan Cang Cristo."
On February 11, 1956, Bishop Guerrero submitted a petition to Cardinal Federico Tedeschini, who at the time was the Apostolic Dataria to Pope Pius XII is requesting for a canonical coronation.
On July 15, 1956, Pope Pius XII issued the pontifical decree on the Canonical Coronation of the image, which occurred on September 8, 1956, the same day of its current feast. 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.
Marian devotion became popular in Spain. Mary, 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 which are 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.
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 and 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.