MANILA, Oct. 4, 2011?The celebrations of this year’s feast of Nuestra Señora de la Naval de Manila is giving emphasis on the role of Mary in the history of salvation—the fulfilment of her maternal responsibility to Christ, from conception, to giving birth, and raising Him devotedly.
Fr. Giuseppe Pietro V. Arsciwals, OP, rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (La Naval de Manila), said that the Marian celebration reflects Santo Domingo Convent’s stand concerning the Reproductive Health bill. However, the rector stressed that it is not simply “a stand against but [more] as a way of standing up for life.”
Themed “Ina ni Kristo, Ina ng Buhay,” La Naval celebrations officially started last Sept. 29 with the ceremonial enthronement at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. The event is also a reiteration of the essence of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, “Evangelium Vitae.”
It could be remembered that in this writing, the pontiff made clear proclamation: “Abortion and euthanasia are crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection.”
“With this theme, we hope to underscore the sacredness of life from the moment of its conception up to the time of its natural end,” Arsciwals said in an e-mail.
This year’s La Naval celebrations are a way of supporting people who are in the forefront in the fight against the RH bill, such as Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Sen. Vicente Sotto, Fr. Melvin Castro. This is the consideration in choosing the rosary/novena leaders, Arsciwals said.
“We considered their pro-life stance or their involvement in pro-life causes,” the rector explained.
Others prolife advocates to grace the event include Sr. Pilar Verzosa, representatives from the Pro-life movement, and Tahanang Walang Hagdan, among others.
Celebrants of novena masses include Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, OP; Bishop Honesto Ongtioco; Bishop Teodoro Bacani; Fr. Melvin Castro; Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, OP; Fr. Tamerlane Lana, OP; Fr. Ernesto Arceo, OP; Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, OP; and Fr. Filemon dela Cruz, OP.
Novena masses run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8, while the grand procession with Asia’s first canonically crowned image is set on Oct. 9 at 4 pm.
For more details, please call 712-6271 to 74 or visit www.lanavaldemanila.com, on which all masses and the grand procession will be on live streaming on the feast day, Oct. 9. (Levine Lao)