The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary, better known as Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City is all set to welcome devotees for the celebration of the feast of La Naval de Manila on Sunday.
This year’s celebration focuses on the theme: Mother of Christ, Mother of Life emphasizing the sanctity of life.
“It reflects an issue that is very important at the moment, which is the reproductive health (RH) bill. We want to emphasize the importance of life. The Church is for life; Jesus, the son of Mary, is also for life,” Father Giuseppe Pietro Arsciwals of Santo Domingo Church said.
The Dominican feast pays tribute to the Virgin Mary, who, as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, was said to have brought naval victories for the Spanish against the Dutch in a series of battles off the Philippines in 1646.
The statue, carved from ivory by a Chinese sculptor, was a gift to the Dominicans in Manila by the Spanish governor-general in 1593, and Manila’s high society and devotees have venerated it ever since.
Father Arsciwals said novena Masses will be held on Sunday to be presided over by Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi of Caceres, Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao and some 30 priests. The main highlight of the feast will be a grand procession around the parish.
“We are for life. Life is sacred. It is a gift from God, and any threat to life, be it abortion or contraception, we should oppose it,” Father Arsciwals said.