QUEZON City, Oct. 1, 2015 – The countdown leading to the much-awaited Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, La Naval de Manila and its grand procession on Oct. 11 has officially begun.
As indicated in the official poster of La Naval de Manila, the schedule of Masses and other activities this year is as follows:
Oct. 1 – Enthronement of the image
- Mon. – Sat. – 5:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m.
- Sun. – 5;00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.
- Novena – 6:50 a.m., 11:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
- Oct. 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 – “Besamanto,” 7:00 p.m.
- Oct. 11 – Feast proper – 5:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.
- Grand Procession – 4:00 p.m.
According to Mary Anne Barcelona and Consuelo B. Estepa, authors of “Ynang María: A Celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Philippines,” other than Sto. Domingo in Quezon City, the Feast of La Naval is celebrated in Fort San Felipe, Cavite City, and other towns and parishes named after the Virgin of the Most Holy Rosary.
“The whole month of October has been dedicated to the commemoration of the naval battles of October 1646. The Sto. Domingo holds a procession on every second Sunday of October in what is acknowledged as the ‘celebrity of all Catholic celebrations,” their book notes.
Barcelona and Estepa add that the La Naval was declared the official patroness of the Philippine Navy (PN) in 1975 by Archbishop Mariano Gaviola, then military vicar of the country due to its historical roots in the naval battles that saved the archipelago from the Dutch invasion of 1646.
Meanwhile, James Benedict Malabanan, a La Naval devotee since his college days, defended the old Marian devotion from allegations of “extravagance” and “superficiality.”
“If not because of her intercession, I would not be where I am now. It is thanks to her maternal comfort that I was able to overcome the many struggles I encountered in my life. That is why I pay her a visit as often as I can,” he said in an interview.
According to him, taking part in the annual La Naval festivities is just a way he and fellow devotees express gratitude for the blessings they have received through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin.
“I owe her my life. This is my ‘panata,’ a ‘thank you’ gesture,” Malabanan added. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)