Kapampangans in the United States gathered for Mass on Sunday, September 4, to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the canonical coronation of Pampanga’s principal patroness, Virgen de los Remedios.
Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles led the liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, with Pampanga native Bishop Roberto Mallari as homilist.
A Mexican-born prelate, Archbishop Gomez is known to have a special devotion to the Virgen de los Remedios.
“It is very important for all of us to have a devotion to the Virgen de los Remedios and entrust to our Blessed Mother our lives, our vocation, and our ministry,” he said.
In his homily, Bishop Mallari reminded the devotees that any celebration of the historic coronation would be “plain pageantry” without its religious and spiritual character: prayer, penance, and charity.
“May every Kapampangan, every devotee, always share their gift of faith … and may this faith lead us to detachment, self-denial and charity,” said the bishop of San Jose in Nueva Ecija.
“May we reach out to one another with the sole intention of reaching out to Jesus in each of us. May we be always Mary’s faithful disciple in bringing Christ through her,” he added.
The event that the devotees marked took place on Sept. 8, 1956, after Pope Pius XII decreed the canonical coronation of the image of the Virgen de los Remedios and declared her as the patroness of Pampanga.
In the Archdiocese of San Fernando, the local Church will commemorate the historic event on Thursday, September 8, with a reenactment of the canonical coronation in Lubao, the birthplace of Christianity in the province.
The devotion of Kapampangans to the Virgen de los Remedios began as early as 1952 when the first bishop of San Fernando, Cesar Ma. Guerrero, initiated the Crusade of Charity and Good Will.
The crusade, according to the archdiocese, was started to fight the rising beliefs of socialism and communism at the time as well as the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
Later, when it featured an image of the crucified Christ, currently known locally as the Christ of Pardon and Charity, it was changed to the Crusade of Penance and Charity.
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