Legendary Marian devotion promoter dead at 69

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CASTILLEJOS, Zambales, August 13, 2014—Sad news for Marian devotees in the Philippines and elsewhere: a staunch promoter recently passed away.

Rosellyn Enciso Magsaysay, the main propagator of the devotion to “Ina Poon Bato” and wife of former Zambales governor Vicente Magsaysay, died on August 9, Saturday.

The Ina Poon Bato image is greeted by devotees during a visit to San Diego, U.S. (File photo)

She was 69 years old.

Her wake is being held at the Magsaysay residence in Castillejos, Zambales.

On August 14, Thursday, her remains will be laid to rest in their family mausoleum in Castillejos Cemetery.

In her personal website, she called herself “a living proof of the miracles of Ina Poon Bato” through whose “miraculous” intercession she credited the strength and willpower to survive lung cancer.

She shared, “It is Ina Poon Bato who made it possible for me to counter all the pain and hardships that is brought by my illness, for making it possible for me to walk long distances just to fulfill her wish to be sent to Mindanao to visit the churches there even if I can’t barely walk…which I did on high heels for the procession in Mindanao for 11 days.”

Magsaysay, a convert to the Catholic faith, testified, “I have been sick for four years but I haven’t undergone even a
single session of chemotherapy or surgery. I feel very much better now that I was able to make this website for Ina Poon Bato not just to tell the world about her miracles on me but also on other people’s lives.

She said, “Nothing really is impossible through Mama Mary and the Lord.”

Magsaysay’s miraculous image of Ina is a replica sculpted by Maximo Vicente, a noted Filipino sculptor, who based his work on the original which the Aetas of Zambales have been venerating for centuries, and who call it “Apo Apang”, meaning “Little Queen”.

The original image is said to antedate the arrival of the Spanish Augustinian Recollects who set up a mission there only in 1607.

It is currently in the custody of the Iglesia Fiipina Independiente (IFI) in Zambales. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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