The Quezon City Government, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval as patroness of Quezon City, Philippines, has promulgated a new resolution designating October as the commemorative month.
It was in August 1973 when the City Council of Quezon City first issued a formal declaration under Resolution No. 9645-S73 that Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, La Naval, would serve as its Patroness.
The following year, Pope Paul VI confirmed this declaration, an extraordinary validation of a local government's devotion.
This heartfelt petition was honored by Bishop Artemio Casas, the auxiliary bishop of Manila at the time.
As Reverend Mervin Lomague, O.P., pointed out, "it is a rare occurrence that a local government declaration would achieve a formal confirmation by the Pope himself through a Papal bull."
The history of this patronage began after the Philippines' series of naval victories over the Dutch invaders in 1646, which were attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.
At that time, the Dutch had seven vessels, while the Filipinos and Spaniards had just two outdated galleons. They miraculously defeated the Dutch in battle.
Little did they know that the two captains of the ships both sought the intercession of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.
After winning the battle, the two captains fulfilled their promise to pray while walking barefoot from the port of Manila Bay to the Sto. Domingo church, which was still located inside Intramuros.
This was the beginning of the devotion of the Philippines to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, La Naval de Manila.
On September 25, the Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, Honesto Ongtioco, D.D., announced that starting with the 50th-anniversary celebration of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary La Naval de Manila, the Patroness will be celebrated in every church across the city every second week of October.
Father Michell Joe B. Zerrudo reveals that the designation of the Patroness entails a number of liturgical privileges regarding her feast celebration.
One of these privileges is the opportunity to celebrate her feast across Quezon City, regardless of whether it falls on an ordinary day.
Father Zerrudo further clarified, "If we look at the table of precedence, we will see that the Feast of the Patronage of a place is higher than the ordinary week."
Rev. Lomague enthusiastically states, "This is a welcome development on the part of the church that here in the Diocese of Cubao, we are celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary La Naval de Manila as a Solemnity. Through this declaration, the City of Quezon will be one in celebrating the Patroness."
While the Diocese of Novaliches includes both Quezon City and Caloocan City North, the event is only observed in the area of the diocese that falls under the jurisdiction of Quezon City.
But in the Diocese of Cubao, the liturgical privilege for Our Lady of the Holy Rosary La Naval has been reaffirmed through the recent declaration of Bishop Ongtioco.
This directive underscores that all churches, including chapels in Cubao, should celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary La Naval de Manila every second week of October.
In response, Father Zerrudo expressed his gratitude by saying, "It is with a grateful heart that we express our gratitude to Bishop Ongtioco that he heeded the call of the devotees of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary La Naval and allowed the Solemnity of the feast of the Patroness in all of the churches under his Diocese every second week of October."
The Philippines, which is the bastion of Catholicism in Asia, is also dubbed "Pueblo Amante de Maria'' or "Bayang Sumisinta kay Maria'', and this month of October, the whole country celebrates the month of the Holy Rosary.
Mostly, the overflowing love for the Blessed Virgin Mary is often translated into devotion to the Patroness, one of which is Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila.
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