Thousands of people are expected to join the religious procession of the image of the “Our Lady of La Naval de Manila” at four o’clock on Sunday, October 9, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
The so-called feast of La Naval is one of the highlights of the annual celebration of the Month of the Holy Rosary in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Journeying with Mary, Towards a Church of Communion, Participation, and Mission.”
The “Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila” is both a title and an image of the Virgin Mary venerated in the Philippines.
As with the Battle of Lepanto of 1571, Filipinos credit her intercession for successfully repulsing the Protestant Dutch invasion during the Battles of La Naval de Manila in 1646.
Filipino Catholics credit the image as the turning point for the country to remain a “bastion of Catholicism” in the early years of the faith in the former Spanish colony.
The image has been venerated by various pontiffs, most notably by Pope Pius X, who granted the image a Canonical Coronation on October 1907.
In 2009, the Philippine government designated the image and its shrine as National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines making it one of the country’s “cultural properties.”
Measuring approximately four feet and eight inches, the body of the image is made of hardwood while the face and hands and the image of the child Jesus in its arms, are made of ivory.
The image is considered the oldest dated ivory carving in the Philippines.
Every year, during the second Sunday of the month of October, thousands of devotees join a religious procession in honor of the Virgin Mary.
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