THE iconic Fort Pilar Shrine in the village of Rio Hondo will be the center of activities on Thursday, October 12, as Zamboangueños will pay homage to the Nuestra Señora de la Virgen del Pilar, Zamboanga City’s patron saint.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the activities at the shrine will kick off at 4 a.m. with the Diana-holy rosary followed by the mañanita mass at 4:30 a.m. and holy mass at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
The grand procession will be held at 3 p.m. from the Immaculate Cathedral in La Purisima Street to the Shrine to be concluded by the Pontifical Mass at 5 p.m. with Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz as main celebrant.
A nine-day novena mass that began October 3 proceeded the feast day Thursday, October 12, with thousands of devotees from all walks of life attending daily religious activity.
The Fort Pilar Shrine, which is known as the Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza in Spanish, is a 17th century military defense fortress built during the Spanish colonial rule.
Its establishment in 1635 is said to be the founding day of the Chavacano language.
October 12 marked as the feast day of the La Virgen del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) is a special non-working holiday in Zamboanga City by virtue of Republic Act 7350.
R.A. 7350, otherwise known as “An Act declaring October 12 of every year a special non-working holiday in the City of Zamboanga, was approved on April 2, 1992.
First district Representative Celso Lobregat on Wednesday called on the residents to be united and “be one in prayers and veneration in honor to the Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar.”
Salazar urged the residents to continue reverence to the Our Lady of the Pillar, this city’s patron saint for guidance and protection amid the challenges besetting this city and the country.