CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Kapampangan expatriates from the State of California in the United States will commemorate the 54th Virgen de los Remedios Canonical Coronation anniversary on September 19 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles City.

Vidal Aguas, a Kapampangan expatriate and one of the organizers of the event, said that a solemn concelebrated Mass will be celebrated by auxiliary Bishop Roberto C. Mallari, D.D. of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga. This would be followed by the re-enactment of the coronation rites.

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"This yearly religious activity presents itself as a time for Kapampangans and Filipinos in California and neighboring states to come together in one solemn celebration that speaks of our identity and religious traditions," Aguas said.

Extreme veneration for the Blessed Virgin could be traced 50 years ago.

In 1952, Cesar Ma. Guerrero, bishop of the then Diocese of San Fernando, established the Crusade for Penance and Charity with the images of the Virgen De Los Remedios and Sto. Cristo del Perdon being brought in procession to the different towns and barrios of Pampanga.

At that time, peasants and farmers were up in arms against landowners. The poor were taking up arms against the government and a godless ideology was sweeping across the province, threatening the Catholic faith and recently created Diocese of San Fernando.

The images of Virgen De Los Remedios and Santo Cristo del Perdon were taken in procession all over the province and the rosary was recited every hour, every day. This act rallied Kapampangans to renew their faith and stand the tide of socialism and communism at their doorsteps.

The tender devotion and reverence of the people of Pampanga showed to the image of the Virgen De Los Remedios led to the approval of her canonical coronation by Pope Pius XII, which was held at the Provincial Capitol grounds on September 8, 1956.

Today, the same canonical coronation serves as a religious and popular devotional activity for Kapampangans in California and in Pampanga where it is commemorated every September 8 with the same religious fervor.

Aguas said that they expect hundreds of Kapampangans and Filipinos to attend the event. (Ian Ocampo Flora)