Baclaran shrine expecting ‘flood’ of devotees for icon’s Jubilee

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PARAÑAQUE City, July 10, 2015—As if it is not crowded enough, particularly on first Wednesdays of each month, the head of the Redemptorist community based in Baclaran, Parañaque City is expecting more and more pilgrims, devotees, and even tourists at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help until 2016 to say a prayer or two.

Fr. Joseph O. Echano, C.Ss.R., rector of the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Photo: Edwin Dio Despabiladeras)

In an interview, Fr. Joseph O. Echano, rector of what is popularly known as Baclaran church, told CBCP News that besides the regular Wednesday novena, Filipino Catholics may also want to take part in the ongoing observance of the Jubilee Year of Perpetual Help devotion which aims to deepen the spirituality of devotees.

Devotion, mission

“We will be directing pilgrimages to the National Shrine. We will be launching education tours on the spirituality of the icon. We also plan to visit far-flung barrios and barangays in the Philippines to conduct catechesis and evangelization mission work,” he said.

“Devotion is useless if it does not lead to mission … Devotion must lead to mission … ‘Debomisyon’,” he added.

READ: Perpetual Help icon really about Jesus – priest 

According to Echano, the Jubilee which opened recently on June 27—the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help—and is set to culminate on the same date next year, celebrates and commemorates 150 years since then Pope Pius IX commissioned the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R.) to spread the devotion to the Blessed Virgin, through the icon Our Mother of Perpetual Help, across the globe.

‘With your indulgence’

Especially for this event, Pope Francis has moreover promised a plenary indulgence to all who will venerate the Perpetual Help icon at any Redemptorist-run institution in the world like the Baclaran church provided the necessary conditions are met.

The celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation

  • Eucharistic communion
  • Prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father
  • The visit should conclude with the recitation of the Our Father, the Creed, and prayers to Our Blessed Mother.

The Code of Canon Law (Can. 992) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471) define an indulgence as a “remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”

Confabs, Roman pilgrimage

Furthermore, Echano shared the Redemptorists also intend to host conferences related to the icon either in 2016 or 2017.

“Those who can afford it are encouraged to go on a pilgrimage to Rome to venerate the original icon at the St. Alphonsus church,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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