PARAÑAQUE City, June 2, 2014—True to its mission of “making Her known”, the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church), led by its Redemptorist Multimedia Committee, recently had the YouTube premiere of its new “Shrine ID” which presented the shrine for what it is: “a church of compassion, a shrine of solace, a sanctuary for all”.
Fr. Victorino Cueto, C.Ss.R. declared, “Baclaran is a sacred space for encounter between humanity and the Divine. People come here everyday. Ordinary people come here offering their life stories to the altar of the Lord.”
The eight-minute video clip retells the meteoric rise of Baclaran Church from a struggling mission territory of Irish and Australian Redemptorists on the shores of Manila Bay in the then fishing town of Parañaque, to the booming pilgrimage center it has since become, attracting hundreds of thousands of Catholics from all over the country, especially on Wednesdays.
He stressed, “We promote Baclaran as a space of Debo(Mi)syon. Devotion as deep religious piety has been coupled with a sense of mission, of service. … It is the marriage of the contemplative life and the active life.”
The video also features testimonials from devotees who credit the shrine’s titular patroness, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, for the blessings they have received through her intercession.
“I thank her [Our Mother of Perpetual Help] for three things: my answered prayers, my health, and my family,” shared Wilson Mayor, a Baclaran regular.
“The reason why I frequent the shrine to pay homage to Our Mother is because, I believe, this is where I can find peace,” he added.
Urcisa Macajelos, another devotee, thanked the Virgin of Baclaran for blessing her with a child after ten years of childless marriage.
“It would be very ungrateful of me not to come back here, considering that the Blessed Mother always made sure that all my petitions have been granted,” she said.
The clip also emphasizes Baclaran Church’s unique place among the churches in the Philippines.
Besides its legendary number of devotees, Baclaran Church is the only one that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Although the shrine has more than 50 doors, it has never closed them to anyone needing a place of prayer, since it officially opened on December 5, 1958,” video narrator Boots Concepcion said. (Raymond A. Sebastián)