Thousands ‘flood’ Baclaran feast

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Parañaque City, June 30, 2014—Heat and occasional drizzle aside, Baclaran’s National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help welcomed thousands of eager devotees from different parts of the country and abroad who packed the church beyond capacity Friday, June 27, for the beloved patroness’ much-awaited feast.

Rose garden? Not quite: Baclaran Church turned into a rose garden Friday, June 27, on the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help as devotees offered flowers big and small to "Mahal na Ina". Baclaran's phenomenal Perpetual devotion rivals only Quiapo's Black Nazarene. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

Roses, tulips, and jasmines offered non-stop by the adoring crowd, many of whom never spend a cent on sampaguita garlands—perhaps not even for their better halves, except for this occasion, almost literally turned the shrine floor into a sea of flowers.

DSLRs and camera-phones in hand, from the most ordinary version to the most fancy, each excited devotee took turns taking a “selfie” with the “Mahal na Ina” icon hanging behind, like that happy day was the last they would have.

Redemptorist Bishop Ireneo Amantillo, who presided over the concelebrated mass, expounded on the virtues of the Blessed Virgin and how she intercedes on behalf of believers by showering Christians with her “prompt succor”.

A procession of Our Mother’s miraculous picture, from Baclaran church’s Roxas Boulevard gate, down Redemptorist Road, Quirino Avenue, Airport Road, and back, followed, with devotees young and old, male and female, rich and poor reciting the Rosary and singing hymns to Mary along the way.

It was the kind of treatment Hollywood A-listers and European monarchs would have been jealous of.

No human, past or present, living or dead, save Jesus Christ Himself, has been accorded with such reverence and honor.

It was a treatment fit for heaven’s Queen. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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