A Marian image that has inspired hope for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) received episcopal coronation on Tuesday, the ninth anniversary of the killer storm.
A huge crowd packed the Palo Cathedral to witness the crowning of the image of Our Lady of Hope that was made from wooden debris that was salvaged from the church in the aftermath of the typhoon.
A round of applause reverberated at the cathedral as Archbishop John Du of Palo placed the crown upon the life-sized statue’s head.
“November 8, 2013, is a dreadful memory in the history of our lives but this image of Our Lady has given meaning to our faithful memory,” said Archbishop Du in his homily.
“God has never abandoned us and has given us a mother to whom we could express all our grieving, our sadness,” he said. “In this image of Our Lady, she is giving us Jesus, our one and true hope.”
The image was commissioned by the archbishop to immortalize in the sculpture several accounts of survivors that the Blessed Mother was around saving children during the onslaught of the typhoon.
The statue was enshrined at the cathedral after it was blessed by Pope Francis during his visit to Leyte in 2015.
In 2016, during the third anniversary of Yolanda, the archdiocese marked the day with the launching of the devotion to Our Lady of Hope of Palo, whose feast day is also today.
After nine years, Archbishop Du is pushing for everyone to move on from the tragedy.
“It’s true we have gone through all of these things but hope, courage and joy should always triumph in our life,” he added.
“This coronation also reminds us that at the end of our life, there is glory waiting for us,” he also said.