As Pope Francis declared this year as the “Jubilee Year of Fatima” in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the shepherd’s children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, that happened in Portugal on May 13 to October 13, 1917, a Grand Marian procession will be held on October 13 at 8 p.m. from the Provincial Capitol to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
From the Capitol, the procession will traverse through Osmeña Boulevard until reaching the basilica, where a Holy Mass will be celebrated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. Msgr. Ruben Labajo, the archdiocesan’s spiritual consultant, said the archdiocesan is mandated to organize a candlelight procession for the Catholic lay faithful in Cebu who are devotees of the Blessed Mother.
The Grand Marian procession is a penitential walk and a sacrifice of prayer for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of souls as contained in the message of Fatima.
“Prayers will also be offered for the problems that our country is facing today including the crisis in Marawi City, the drug problems and other social concerns,” Labajo said during a press conference.
There will be 17 Carrozas from the different parishes in Metro Cebu whose patroness is the Blessed Virgin Mary, bearing different titles.
The main float, according to Fe Barino, the head of the archdiocesan’s commission on the laity, will carry the image of Our Lady of Fatima and the three children from the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Barangay Basak, Mandaue City.
The organizers estimated 30,000 people would join the procession. Participants are also expected to bring with them candles and rosaries as the Holy Rosary will be recited, especially that the month of October is a month of the Holy Rosary.Barino said various groups, organizations, families, students and companies are expected to carry the standarte of the image of Our Lady of Fatima.
The rosary and prayer intentions will be aired live over Power FM 89.1 and AM station dyRF for those who can’t join, especially the old and the sick.Sound systems will also be installed along the route of the procession to air the Holy Rosary.
Since this is a major event, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) is already undertaking some security measures for the event. Supt. David Señor, operations head of CCPO, said they have already coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and borrowed K9 units from the Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City police offices to clear the area of any explosive device.
“Though a lot of us will be praying at that time, we (PNP) could not allow any untoward event to occur. And so we are doing everything to secure the safety, the peace and order,” Señor said.
The Cebu City Traffic Office (CCTO) has already created a rerouting plan. Edilberto Ludovica of CCTO said they will close the roads near the Capitol at 7:30 p.m. and will slowly open it for motorists once the participants can move to the other block of the road. Signages will be installed in the affected areas to guide motorists what directions to take to reach their destination.
Harold Alcontin of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office advised the public not to bring balloons, glass bottles, pyrotechnics, firearms and bladed weapons and other things that will endanger the safety of the public during the penitential procession.