Joseph Villahermosa, his wife Corazon Villahermosa and their six-year old daughter Eisha Louis didn’t mind the heat and the crowd, as they sat outside the Carmelite Monastery for the noon Mass of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel yesterday.
The Villahermosa couple has been devotees of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for two years after being introduced to her by Joseph’s elder sister.
“We pray for good health and family relationship,” Joseph said.
The Villahermosa family joined the large crowd of devotees who attended the Pontifical Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at the Carmelite Ministry in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.
Corazon said they brought their six-year old daughter Eisha Louis to the Carmelite Monastery to pass on their devotion and love for Mother Mary.
In his homily, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the faithful have every reason to be happy and joyful in celebrating the event.
“We glorify God for giving us Mary our Mother. We know for a fact our devotion to Mama Mary is the reason why today atong gipasigarbo atong pagtuo sa Cebu and sa Pilipinas (we take pride in our belief that Cebu and the Philippines) because we have accepted Mary as our mother,” Palma said.
The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated every July 16, which commemorates the giving of the brown scapular by the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Simon Stock.
Last Saturday, thousands of pilgrims and devotees flocked to Barangay Guadalupe in Cebu City to attend the grand Marian procession for the Our Lady of Guadalupe despite the rain.
During the Mass, Msgr. Rey Penagunda cited the Blessed Virgin Mary’s strong connection towards the faithful.
“Mausab ang simbahan, maguba o madaan, magkamanunayon gihapon ang mga tawo sa parokya ngadto usab sa birhen (The church may change, be broken or get old, but the people will always remain faithful to the Virgin Mary),” he said.
After the Mass, pilgrims and devotees trooped outside, with their umbrellas in tow, as they listened to stories of how the Virgin Mary’s intercession during the 1902 cholera epidemic and similar incidents have built the people’s faith in her.
Before the procession, a dance accompanied by musical instruments was offered by the Guadalupe Marian dancers.
During the procession, devotees lighted their candles and prayed the rosary.
The procession route started from the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church then headed straight to the Guadalupe barangay hall and turned to several streets before returning to the church.