PARAÑAQUE City, Sept. 8, 2015 – The carillon bell tower at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran was inaugurated earlier today, Sept. 8, coinciding with the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Gracing the event was no less than Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle who started blessing the structure at around 6:00 a.m.
Also in attendance were Redemptorist priests and brothers whose community oversees the Marian shrine along with Perpetual Help devotees from all over the Philippines.
The latter came to Baclaran to witness and to be part of the historic occasion as well as to offer flowers to the birthday celebrant.
It was a Tuesday, but people kept flooding the shrine just the same like on a Wednesday.
Catholics worldwide traditionally celebrate the Feast of the Birth of Mary on Sept. 8, which is exactly nine months counting from Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Labor of love
Aside from the set of 24 bells, one of the more prominent features of the carillon tower are the four mosaic panels of Our Mother of Perpetual, one hanging on each side of the structure.
In an interview, Robert M. Cruz, owner of VitreArtus Liturgical Arts which provided the bells and created the mosaics, said working on the 2 meter-wide by 2.5 meter-high panel was very tedious and time-consuming.
He said it took his artists as long as a month to finish just one mosaic, but considered it a “labor of love.”
According to Cruz, VitreArtus used imported glass tesserae which are homogeneously colored stones that will never fade, in order to come up with a replica of the much-venerated Perpetual Help icon. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)