Our Lady of Consolation and Cincture
(NUESTRA SENORA DELA CONSOLACION Y CORREA)
It is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary that sprung from three different sources. First, the founding of the Order of St. Augustine in the 16th century, the building of the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila and the establishment of Filipino confraternities under the advocacy of St. Augustine
The devotion to to Our Lady of Consolation happened when St. Monica in a vision received a black leather belt from the Blessed Virgin, who assured the holy widow that she would take under her special protection all those who wore it in her honor. In return, Monica gave it to her son, Augustine who later changed his ways and eventually became one of the saints in the Roman Catholic Church.
There were two separate confraternities founded in the 15th century, the Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation and the Confraternity of the Cincture of St. Augustine which later united into one by the power of the papal bull and formed an archconfraternity which has affiliations all over the world.
In March, 1575, it was ordained that all confraternities of the black leathern belt should be aggregated to the archconfraternity at Bologna, Italy. Manila became the seat of this devotion in Asia. The devotion later spread to the provinces. Many chapters were formed in order to share its privileges and indulgences. The confraternity gives spiritual monetary assistance to people especially the poor who wishes to pursue a religious vocations. The asylum of Our Lady of Consolation was built to aid the victims of the cholera outbreak of 1882. It was situated at the site where Don Bosco University in Mandaluyong now lies. The confraternity was consecrated at the San Agustin Church where its members are obliged to wear a correa.
The icon depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary, holding her child, Jesus Christ. She's wearing a cord which is a representation of a belt that she supposedly gave to St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine. According to Rev. Fr. Pedro Galende, Director of the San Agustin Museum, the belt is a "symbol of chastity" that represents Mary's Immaculate Conception delivery of Jesus into the world.
Our Lady of Consolation is venerated all over the country. Every Saturday, masses were held in her honor. Her feast day is celebrated every September 4. The Clausura Procession is held every last Saturday of the month after the mid-morning Mass. The image is passed on from one shoulder to another shoulder by devotees as the procession goes around the convent in tradition of the early monastic period.
The PORTA VAGA
In 1602, the Spaniards built the historical fortress of PORTA VAGA, a 20-foot high fort that guarded the entrance to the Spanish city. The name could have been suggested by the Tagalog puertang bago (“new door”). The massive walls of San Felipe were erected in 1614 to protect the navy yard against incursions by Moro pirates, Dutch invaders and other groups opposing their rule. During the American era, it was used as a station of the US Marines. It was eventually destroyed during the Second World War. The city was officially baptized Cavite that year when it was established as a politico-military district and capital of Cavite province. The Isthmus del Rosario linked Cavite with the mainland.
A plausible legend narrates that many years ago, in a date which remained unremembered, a small detachment of Spanishcarabinero was stationed at a sentry post called garita located at the end of the isthmus of Rosario. One stormy night, while a Spanish sentinel was on watch at his post despite the dangers brought about by thunderstorm and furious lashes of rain, he perceived a halo of a bright shifting and refulgent light. A dazzling apparition rose from the torrid current of Cañacao Bay startling the sentry with suspicion that it could be Moslem pirates from the south who were planning to ransack the puerto. At that time, Cavite was at the peak of economic prosperity because of the galleon trade. As the light flowed toward the guard, he stood ready and alarmed. Although filled with fear, he shouted “Alto! Alto!” However, instead of executing a halt, the light proceeded toward him. Still in a loud voice, he asked “Quien Vive?” (Who is there?) Then he heard a sweet and melodious voice saying: “Soldadito, porque el alto me das en noche tan fria? Dame paso. No conoces a Maria?” (Soldier boy, why challenge me on a night so cold? Let me pass. Don’t you recognize Maria?) The sentinel, struck with awe and confusion, humbly and repentantly replied: “Perdonad me Virgen Maria, Reina de mi devocion; pues solo soy un soldado fue cumplo mi obligacion!” (Forgive me, my Virgin, Queen of my heart; I am a poor sentinel abiding by his duty.”)
A serene and sunny morning followed the stormy night. The early risers, mostly fishermen and workers at the Cavite Royal Arsenal usually passed through the Porta Vaga gate in entering the puerto. Along the beach of Cañacao Bay, they found a framed image of the Virgen de la Soledad lying on the sandy shore. It was close to the spot where the Virgin appeared the previous night. Others claimed it came with the debris of a Spanish galleon that sank during the fierce typhoon. They brought the image to the parish priest, who temporarily installed it in the parish church. Later, a small chapel was built near the Porta Vaga walls and for three centuries it became the shrine of the Virgen de la Soledad.
An inscription was found at the back of the painting, “A doze de Abril 1692 años Juan de Oliba puso esta Stsma. Ymagen Haqui.” This inscription says that “this sacred image was placed here on April 12, 1692 by Juan Oliva” but it does not clearly tells us the exact date of the Virgin’s arrival. It is possible that it is the date when the Virgin was enthroned at the altar of the Ermita de Porta Vaga in the 17th century. Devotees of the Virgen de la Soledad were not satisfied in placing her in one of the seven churches of Cavite Puerto. They decided to build for her the Ermita de Porta Vaga, a small chapel near the gate of the Porta Vaga, the fortlet guarding the entrance to the Puerto de Cavite. For three centuries, it became the shrine of the Virgin.
Legends do not satisfy the curiosity of a seeker. The heavy files of history prove to be an accomodating ally in the earnest search for the truth about the Virgin. In the past, numerous Caviteño writers attempted to give a definite date of Her arrival. Some said that it must be during the second half of the seventeenth century. Others would give a more definite year –1667.
Inspite all available data, the Virgin’s origins and arrival to Cavite is still shrouded with mystery. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why many devotees have been drawn to Her aura all these years. One thing remains unchallenged even with the advent of changing lifestyles and revolutionary breakthroughs in almost all aspects of human life. Cavite will never be the same again without its Patroness. That, history will find improbable, if not impossible to write.
LA ERMITA DE PORTA VAGA
Pious devotees of the Virgen de la Soledad deemed it but proper to accord Her an abode of Her own where she could reign supreme. They were not satisfied to enthrone Her in one of the seven churches of Cavite puerto. A shrine befitting the unassuming majesty of the spiritual Mother is where the image of the Virgin should belong. So they built for Her the Ermita de Porta Vaga.
Ermita came from the Spanish word which means hermitage. It was called Ermita for it was such a solemn place where people could commune with God in prayer and silence. De Porta Vaga was added because it was built near the Porta Vaga gate. The fortlet guarding the entrance to the Puerto de Cavite was originally known as Puerta Vaga. According to Fray Joaquin Martinez de Zuniga, O.S.A., Vaga came from the tagalog word bago which means new. This gate was comparatively new as compared to the ancient walls of Fuerte Real de San Felipe. Thus, Puerta Vaga evolved into Porta Vaga.
A section in the Almanaque de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, mentioned that the Recollect Fathers, with Father Cenon Naya as its first curate, built the Ermita in 1612. However, the Recollect Fathers arrived in Cavite in 1616 and the Virgin was found in ca.1667. Thus, this date – 1612 is untenable. Others claimed that the Jesuits were the ones who built the Ermita. Up to this day, no one really knows the truth.
The Image is one of the most venerated Marian images in the province of Pampanga and the Town of Macabebe and held by believers to possess healing powers as patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy.
• Etymology: The Immaculate Blessed Virgin Mary of "Macabebe" meaning the 'Virgin that bordering the river banks'
Macabebe is an Ancient Town in Pampanga during Spanish Era, It covered the two municipalities before, the Masantol & Minalin Most commonly in San Isidro of Masantol & Sta Maria of Minalin. Every Disperas They Bring the Original Image in Taldawa/Bukid (which is now under the place of San Isidro Masantol & Sta Maria Minalin) for a House to House Blessing to Make a" Limbun" a Capampangan term for Libot or Umiikot. And only Apung Maria can do that thing, all over the province. Because she’s connecting and she’s the way again in the place that Macabebe owns before.
• And due to the Faith and Love of the devotees to Apung Sta Maria de Macabebe, they make also the devotion and transfer it in Sta Maria Paco Manila Late 1930 in honor of Our Lady.
• The original icon depicting the Blessed Mother of Macabebe is an old Roman Catholic wooden image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is enthroned in the altar of its Church in the town of Macabebe, Pampanga. This is still in the plan or process to be officially Episcopal Crowned.
• Feast Day Is Every Last Sunday of The Month of April in the Current Year. She holds the most Grandiose Festivity in the whole town of Macabebe, devotees from abroad and manila and locals of Pampanga come together to celebrate her Festivity. On Her Festivity they gather the Original Image for a Procession after the Afternoon Mass & Evening Mass.
• Every Procession they play The Music "BATALYA" Spanish term is Batalia Meaning Battle. As the Early Kapampangans Make The Batalya Music to make A Soulful Music thru Prayers against the Moors thru the Intercession of The Blessed Virgin Mary: Battle Against the Invaders, Battle Against Sins.
OUR LADY OF LIGHT AND SALVATION: HER PRESENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES AND HER ROLE IN THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION OF MANKIND (PART 3 OF 3)
THE ESSENCE OF DEVOTION
Mary: Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate
We are all privileged to be living during the climax of the universally designated "Age of Mary". International Marian Centers such as Lourdes, Fatima and places of contemporary apparition, as well as numerous other contemporary Marian movements manifest the present climax of love and devotion to the Mother of Jesus throughout the world.
But along with a climax in devotion to Our Lady, this Age of Mary is also crucially calling for a climax in the doctrine about Mary. For authentic love of Mary must be firmly based upon the authentic truth about Mary.
Up to the present time in the history of the church, four Marian doctrines have been defined as central Catholic truths by the Church: the Motherhood of God, the Immaculate Conception, the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, and her Glorious Assumption into heaven. It is now time for the church, at the summit of this Marian era, to proclaim and define the fifth and final Marian doctrine, that is, Mary's universal mediation as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all grace, and advocate for the people of God.
When the Church invokes Mary under the title, "Coredemptrix", she means that Mary uniquely participated in the redemption of the human family by Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. At the Annunciation (cf.Lk.1:38) Mary freely cooperated in giving the Second Person of the Trinity his human body which is the very instrument of redemption, as Scripture tells us: "We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb.10:10).
And at the foot of the cross of our Saviour (Jn.19:26), Mary's intense sufferings, united with those of her Son, as Pope John Paul II tells us, were, "also a contribution to the Redemption of us all" (Salvifici Doloris, n.25). Because of this intimate sharing in the redemption accomplished by the Lord, the Mother of the Redeemer is uniquely and rightly referred to by Pope John Paul II and the Church as the "Co-redemptrix."
It is important to note that the prefix "co" in the title Coredemptrix does not mean "equal to" but rather "with", coming from the Latin word cum. The Marian title Coredemptrix never places Mary on a level of equality with her Divine Son, Jesus Christ. Rather it refers to Mary's unique human participation which is completely secondary and subordinate to the redeeming role of Jesus, who alone is true God and true Man.
Secondly, Mary is invoked in the Church under the title Mediatrix of all grace. All the graces which flow from the redemption of Jesus Christ are granted to the human family through the motherly intercession of Mary. Mary mediated Jesus Christ, the Author of all graces, to the world when she agreed to be the human mother of God made man (cf. Lk 1:38). And from the cross at Calvary (Jn 19:26) and as the final gift to humanity, Jesus gives Mary as a spiritual mother to us all: "Son, behold your mother" (cf. Jn 19:26). For this reason, Vatican II refers to Mary as a "mother to us in the order of grace " (Lumen Gentium, n. 62) and several twentieth century popes have officially taught the doctrine of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, quoting the words of St Bernard: "It is the will of God that we obtain all favours through Mary." The Mediatrix performs this task in intimate union with the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, with whom she began the drama of our Lord's Redemption at the Annunciation (cf. Lk. 1:35).
Thirdly, Mary is our Advocate for people of God, in that she takes the petitions of her earthly children, especially in times of difficulties, and brings them through her maternal intercession before her Son and our Lord Jesus.
In the Old Testament, the Queen Mother brought the petitioned needs of the people of Israel to the throne of her son the king (cf. 1 Kings 2:19). Now Mary is the new Queen Mother and Advocate in the new Kingdom of her Son, who brings the petitioned needs of the people of God to the throne of her glorious Son, Christ the King, particularly in our present difficult times.
The universal mediation of the Mother of Jesus as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate for the people of God is already contained in the official and authoritative teachings of the Church's Magisterium. Now, at the summit of the Marian era, what remains is the final proclamation by the Church of this final Marian doctrine as Christian dogma revealed by God.
OUR LADY OF LIGHT AND SALVATION: HER PRESENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES AND HER ROLE IN THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION OF MANKIND (PART 2 OF 3)
Maria Madre Santissima del Lume in Palermo: The Birth of the Devotion
Father Giovanni Antonio Genovesi, SJ was born in Sicily on March 4, 1684, and became a novice of the Compania de Jesus (Society of Jesus or so called Jesuits) on March 2, 1703. As a missionary, he went around Sicily for twenty years. Through his preaching, he was able to bring people to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom he would always call upon for guidance in his missionary work. The last part of his life served as a fitting culmination of his life of service. Father Genovesi was then the superior of the novices and the rector of the college in Messina when a fatal plague broke out in 1743. The college was turned into a hospital where the Jesuits untiringly served those who were stricken by the plague. As time went on, the novices were inflicted by the plague one by one. On July 6, 1743, Father Genovesi died after being struck by the plague.
During the first quarter of the eighteenth century (1722), Father Genovesi desired to have a representation of the Virgin Mary painted to take with him and display as he preached missions throughout the island of Sicily. He asked the help of a devout lady in a neighboring village who had the reputation of having frequent visitations from the Virgin Mary and asked her to request guidance. The Virgin Mary granted the request and she described exactly how she wished to be represented. She showed herself to the lady in the Church of S. Stanislao al Noviziato.
The Virgin appeared in a glorious light, surrounded by a host of seraphim and was extremely beautiful. She wore an imperial crown and had a girdle adorned with jewels that surpassed the beauty of the stars. On her shoulders was a blue mantle. On her left arm, she carried the Child Jesus. With her right hand, she lifted a sinful soul from the horrible throat of Hell, keeping it from falling back in. On the other side, a kneeling angel held up a basket filled with hearts, which he presented to the Divine Child in His mother's arms. He took the hearts one at a time and inflamed them with his love. The Virgin Mary said she wished to be called Maria Madre Santissima del Lume (Mary Most Holy Mother of Light), and repeated it three times, and said not to forget that.
The pious lady returned to Father Genovesi and recounted all that the Virgin had said, and he quickly found a painter and gave him the instructions. The lady did not go to the painter's studio out of modesty, the priest did not supervise the work, and the result was not satisfactory. The choir of angels was lacking, there was a crescent moon beneath her feet, and her robe was red rather than white. As a result, the Virgin Mary did not give a promised sign of approval.
Father Genovesi asked the woman to go to the painter, but she was extremely busy with family matters in Bagheria, which is some distance from Palermo, and couldn't get away. The Virgin, however, appeared to her again and said she needed her in Palermo. The woman, in turn, protested that since the Virgin had all the resources of Paradise, how could such a vile worm as she carry out such an important task, and, anyway, there was no way she could get away. The Virgin responded that whether or not she felt she could go to Palermo she would, in no uncertain terms. As a result, the woman was hit with a terrible pain in her chest and lost her voice. There seemed to be no cure, and she was taken to Palermo where the air was more temperate and healthy. In fact, after she arrived she was soon healed.
Once the woman was in Palermo, and healed, she was visited again by the Virgin. The lady said both she and the priest were very disappointed that the painting didn't turn out right and asked if a new one should be made. The Virgin responded positively, and this notice was taken to Father Genovesi who arranged for a new painting to be done. It was the custom of the Virgin to send a guardian angel to her "servant" the evening before to warn that she would appear after the woman had received communion. The woman, following instructions, then went to the painter's studio where she found him ready to begin work. The Virgin had said that she would meet her there, but only she would have the vision. The woman was to instruct the painter, but the Virgin would guide his brush. This in fact, happened, and the work was accomplished to the satisfaction of the Virgin. Although numerous copies were subsequently made, none approached the perfection of the original. Even the painter himself could not duplicate exactly his first work.
The picture of the Madre Santissima del Lume was always carried by Father Genovesi in his mission. Each time the people of a certain place would know that he and the picture were coming, they would wholeheartedly prepare their chapel or church, and the altar on which the holy picture will be enshrined. The arrival of the priest and the picture was always met by many people holding flowers or lighted candles. According to tradition, the visitation of the picture would always result in great love and devotion to the Virgin, thereby making it very difficult for the people to part with the picture. This started the practice of leaving a faithful copy of the picture in the chapel or church of the place visited by Father Genovesi.
The devotion to Our Lady rapidly spread to the community of the faithful in Noviziato al Capo, where in 1736 a group was formed which became the Confratenita della Madonna del Lume al Noviziato. On February 6, 1736, Pope Clement XII authorized through an apostolic letter the veneration of the Virgin Mary under this title. Moreover with the same document, the feast of the Virgin was established on the Second Sunday of September, and a plenary indulgence was granted to those who will participate in the Mass on the feast day. In Palermo, the Virgin is the patroness of carpenters, while in Porticello, also in Sicily, she is the patroness of fishermen. It is unfortunate that the original picture painted in 1722 was destroyed with the church of Casa Professa when it suffered bombardment during the war in 1943.
"KABANAL-BANALANG INA NG KALIWANAGAN" (Most Holy Mother of Light)
A few years after the birth of the devotion to the Mother of Light in Palermo, the devotion was introduced in Cainta (Philippines) by the Jesuits in 1727. The Jesuit missionary ministering in Cainta during that time, Father Bartolommeo Cavanti (al Gavanti), SJ, may have been instrumental in introducing the devotion, since he came from Ferrara, Italy. The devotion to Our Lady in Cainta preceded by some years the same devotion introduced by the Jesuits in Guanajuato, Mexico (1732); Loon, Bohol (1753); and the new titular sprouted and it was attributed to the original one in Palermo and also well known in the Philippines: Nuestra Senora de Salvacion. it was introduced by the Franciscans in Joroan, Tiwi, Albay (1776) and sculpted from Calpi tree by the local bicol artisan, together with the images of San Antonio and Nuestra Senora Dela Soledad as we mention earlier, it was credited of saving Joroan and the Albay province from the Muslim pirates from Sulu. The devotion also spread in Italy, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru. Since then, Our Lady has been called by various titles, e.g.
1.Nuestra Senora de la Luz/Lumen
2.Our Lady of Light
3.Kabanal-banalang Ina ng Kaliwanagan
4.Inang Santisima ng Kaliwanagan
5.Our Lady of Salvation
The holy picture of the Our Lady of Light brought by the Jesuits has a gilded frame and crest, and was enshrined in one of the colaterales (side altars) of the church of Cainta. Before 1853, the holy picture was transferred to the retablo mayor (main altar). Above it was the image of St. Andrew the Apostle, the patron principal, and on both sides were the images of St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Unfortunately, the original picture of Our Lady, brought by the Jesuits in Cainta, was burned with the church in March 1899. Nevertheless, there are two existing faithful copies of the original picture. The first is an 1801 print that has a description at the bottom which would read like this when written fully: "Verdadero retrato de Nuestra Senora Reina del Universo Maria Santisima Madre de Lumen que se venera en la Iglesia de Cainta en su propria capilla a solicitud y expensa de ciertos devotos de esta gran Senora en el ano de 1801" (Real image of Our Lady Queen of the Universe Mary Most Holy Mother of Light, which is venerated in the church of Cainta in her own chapel,thanks to the care and generosity of certain devotees of this great Lady, in the year 1801). Copies of this print were usually given to those who would give donations to Our Lady, and to this day, there are a few homes in Cainta where such a copy is enshrined. The second faithful copy of the original picture is a charcoal painting by Mariano Javier of Cainta, which he did in 1857. The picture has certain similarities to the 1801 print. Its care has been handed down to the descendants of Mariano, from Pablo Javier to Guadalupe Javier. At present, it is in the care of Mrs. Flora Javier Buenviaje. In this painting, Our Lady was identified as "Ma. Sma. Madre de la Luz."
The devotion to Our Lady has also been manifested in two of the three antique bells of the church which are still used at present. A small campana de vuelo or esquila was named after "Nuestra Senora de la Luz" in 1835. A huge bell casted on November 15, 1883 by Fundicion de Hilario Sunico was named after "Nuestra Senora de la Lumen." As the devotion to Our Lady became widespread, she became the segunda patrona of Cainta.
The first Tagalog novena to Our Lady of Light, entitled Pag dedevocion at Pag sisiam sa casantasantahang Virgen ng Caliuanagan [Devotion and Novena to the Most Holy Virgin of Light], was prepared by Don Luis Remedios, secretary of the Archbishop of Manila, Fray Pedro Payo, O.P., upon the request of the parish priest of Cainta during that time, Don Mariano (de) San Juan. The permission to publish it was given by the Archbishop in September 16, 1884. By this time, Our Lady was considered titular of the Church of Cainta.
Inasmuch as the original picture of Our Lady of Light perished with the church in 1899, it was deemed proper to have a new picture commissioned in 1950 from no less than Mr. Fernando Amorsolo, a nationally renowned artist. The parish priest of Cainta during this time was Father Joseph Flameygh, C.I.C.M. This painting of Our Lady is noteworthy in some aspects. The faces of the Virgin and the Child Jesus have Filipino features. The Holy Child, which appears to be holding only one heart with his left hand, is actually holding another one with his left hand. It did not become noticeable since the color of the heart seems to blend with the red tunic of the Holy Child. A closer look, however, reveals that the Christ Child is really holding close to his heart a soul that has not yet been inflamed by his love. It is flesh in color with traces of vein-like lines. The painting was initially enshrined in the semi-concrete chapel that served as a temporary church. After the reconstruction and solemn blessing of the church of Cainta in 1968, the Virgin was enshrined in her own chapel inside the church, together with a smaller version of the painting of the Madonna and Child, and an image of St. Andrew.
The feast of Our Lady of Light has been celebrated in Cainta since 1853 or even earlier, on December 1, after the feast of St. Andrew. The Virgin has a secondary feast which is observed on Thursday after Pentecost Sunday. For her primary feast, the novena begins on November 21, while for the secondary feast, the novena commences on Tuesday before Pentecost Sunday. There are also other forms of devotion to Our Lady such as the daily prayer to her in the morning and before going to bed, the prayer to the Holy Spirit and to Our Lady, and the Siete Sabados or Seven Saturdays preceding her feast day. All of these can be found in the revised prayerbook entitled Pagdedebosyon at Pagsisiyam sa Kabanal-banalang Ina ng Kaliwanagan: Patrona ng Cainta (1727-2007). In Cainta, the Virgin is recognized as the patroness of reconciliation and those seeking conversion.
May the devotion to Our Lady of Light lead to Jesus who said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
OUR LADY OF LIGHT AND SALVATION: Her presence in the philippines AND HER ROLE IN THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION OF MANKIND (Part 1 of 3)
This wooden Image of Our Lady of Salvation made in Calpi Tree (1) has a resemblance on the painting of Our Lady of Light. The Devotion to Our Lady of Light (2) started in Palermo, Sicily in Italy around the year 1722. The Blessed Virgin appeared to a pious lady, together with Father Giovanni Antonio Genovesi SJ (a famous Jesuit Priest and Superior of the Novices in Sicily, Italy and died in the year 1734) and requested that a painting be commissioned and venerated under the title of Maria Madre Santissima del Lume (Mary Most Holy Mother of Light). In August 25, 1976, as a culmination to the Bicentennial year of Our Lady of Salvation, Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin of Manila crowned the Lady of Salvation while the shrine in Joroan was proclaimed as a Diocesan shrine and Saint John Paul II, blessed the images of Salvacion, together with INA Penafrancia during his Apostolic Visit in Legaspi City, Albay in the year 1981.
The Calpi Tree
According to the written accounts of Fulay, In the 1770s, a certain haciendero named Don Silverio Arcilla assigned a tenant called Mariano Dacoba in one of his vast estates in Joroan (formerly known as Cagnipa). On a certain day, while the tenant was clearing parts of the hacienda, he chopped off a big Calpi tree. Although already severed in the base for a period of time, the leaves did not wilt and maintained its life and freshness. The tenant informed Don Arcilla about it, and the latter consulted with the Friar Pastor of Buhi
In Buhi, a certain sculptor by the name of Bagacumba was commissioned by the Friar Pastor to have an image carved from the Calpi trunk found by Don Arcilla's tenant. A total of three images were produced: the Our Lady of salvation, the Our Lady of Solitude, and St. Anthony of Padua.On August 25, 1776, the image of the Lady of Salvation was lent to Joroan with the condition that the residents construct a chapel at the center of the barrio. Consequently, a certain Sotera Cababag was assigned as the chapel's Hermana Mayor who will take care of the image.
The 1853 agreement
The huge Calpi tree was found in Joroan, but the owner of the land, Don Arcilla, was a native of Buhi. Moreover, the Calpi trunk was given by Don Arcilla to the parsh priest of Buhi, who in turn commissioned a sculptor, who is also from Buhi, to carve the image of the Lady of Salvation from it. Thus, Buhi is the rightful owner of the image. However, on January 21, 1853, an agreement between Buhi and Joroan will permanently cement Joroan's claim to the image. Representing Buhi were its parish priest, Fray Antonio Guadalajara and its Gobernadorcillo, Mariano Buenaflor; while the barrio lieutenants of Joroan represented their people. In accordance with the agreement, Buhi will give up all its rights in the image if the people of Joroan made an offering of fifty pesos, and an additional twenty-five pesos for the bell.
Joroan, according to Fulay, was a common target of Muslim marauders due to its proximity to the sea. In an event of an attack, the residents of the barrio would flock to the image of the Lady of Salvation and offer their prayers to the Blessed Virgin for protection. It is said that every time the Muslims attacked Joroan and attempted to burn their houses, the torch would not ignite. This phenomenon, according to tradition, is considered as the first wonder attributed to the Blessed Virgin.
Miracle of Hermana Tiray
The second miracle is when a Hermana Mayor named Tiray was captured by the Muslims in one of their raids. On a certain day, after one year of being held captive by the raiders in Sulu, she fell into a deep sleep and upon waking up, she realized that she was no longer in her quarters but instead she was now standing in an unknown forest where she saw a peculiar white deer. Out of curiosity, she followed it through the mountains but soon lost track of it. Tiray would later find out that she had already been miraculously transported in Legazpi. She was now only 38 km away from Joroan. After this incident, the people of Joroan transferred the chapel further away from the sea to a higher plane in the mountains to avoid another desecration in an event of another Muslim raid.
The third miracle was an apparition of the Blessed Virgin in the likeness of the Lady of Salvation. On a certain occasion, four devotees from Catanduanes went on a pilgrimage to Joroan. They brought along with them a set of candles made of beeswax which they intend to offer to the Lady of Salvation in Joroan. Upon reaching the shore, three of them decided to detour to Buhi and light candles for St. Anthony, while the other was left to guard the boat. While the man who was left behind was promenading at the shores, a woman carrying a child approached him, and asked from him a candle so that she can light her way to her house in the mountains since it was already getting dark. The man refused since the candle was not his. The lady on the other hand insisted and promised that she would return the candle in the morning if he would come to her house uphill. Out of generosity, the man gave in to the lady's favour and was told that he can inquire from the town lieutenant of Joroan where she lived the next day so that she can return to him the candle. On the next day, the man went to the town and asked about the mysterious lady who lived in the mountains. The lieutenant was not knowledgeable about the certain mysterious lady he was describing so he referred him instead to the Hermana Mayor. The Hermana was also of no help in his search, but advised him instead to visit the chapel of Our Lady of Salvation for him to seek guidance in his search. Upon arrival at the chapel, he was surprised when he saw the exact candle which he had previously given to the mysterious lady on the foot of the image unlighted and unused. What was more surprising was when he realized that the image looked like the woman whom he was looking for. At that moment, he was filled with compunction and did not dare get the candles anymore. He prostrated himself in front of the image, and asked from the Blessed Virgin to pray for his sins.
The Last Muslim raid
The fourth phenomenon attributed to the Lady of Salvation was during the years of a certain Hermana named Dominga de los Reyes, the successor of Tiray. The Muslims, while in one of their raids, retracted almost immediately after having a vision of an army of heavily armed men. According to tradition, the vision terrified them so much that that raid was considered as the last Muslim attack on the shores of Joroan.
Miracle of the Boat
In 1884, in the eve of the fiesta of the Lady of Salvation, a group of people from Partido was sailing to Joroan when a whirlwind attacked the boat. Giant waves swallowed them and they were almost outbalanced. As they were expecting their deaths, the boat suddenly recovered its balance. What was very strange was that, even though they were almost dumped into the sea, their clothes were completely dry as if freshly ironed. The people in the boat attributed the miracle to the Lady of Salvation.
THE PARTS OF THE IMAGE
a.) THE REPENTANT SINNER
This is a very important feature, yet the most misunderstood of all. The sinner, believe it or not, is actually a full grown man. Almost all replicas, however, feature a child or an angel instead.
b.) THE ACT OF SALVATION
The Lady of Salvation is in itself full of symbolism that reflects her role, according to Catholic doctrine, as Co-Redemptrix of Human race. Hence, her right arm is gestured as depicting her saving power by holding in his wrist a repentant sinner who is about to fall to the devouring head of the devil.
c.) THE DEVIL
If the repentant sinner is the most misunderstood, then the devil is the most dismissed. Many people fail to understand the importance of this devil in the image, and most even dismiss it as something horrifying and unworthy to be part of the image. This is the reason why people would hide the devil under the manto. The devil is actually the reason why the image got the name 'Our Lady of Salvation'; the Virgin Mary is giving the repentant sinner 'Salvation' from the devil. Remove the devil and and the image ceases to become a representation of the Lady of Salvation.
d.) THE BASKET OF BURNING HEARTS
This is sometimes (ridiculously) mistaken as a basket of fruits. Like the other features, this one is also unique to the image of the Lady of Salvation. It is a representation of mankind being offered to Christ.
e.) OPENED HANDS
Another important feature; it shows that the offering has been accepted.
(In the next blog post, you will know more about the Origin of the Icon of Our Lady of Light in Palermo and her Presence in Cainta,Rizal, Philippines)
Footnotes and Sources:
(1) An Kasaysayan kan ladawan ni Birhen de Salvacion
(Fr Lamberto S. Fulay: 1919 - 1935)
(2) Pagdedebosyon at pagsisiyam sa Kabanal-Banalang Ina ng Kaliwanagan, Patrona ng Cainta (Michael J. Delos Reyes - 2007)