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Catholics pay homage to Mama Mary

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol December 08,2017 - 10:37 PM

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary owned by Dr. Clodoveo “Louie” Nacorda was brought out for the procession to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in Cebu City.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: Dr. Clodoveo “Louie” Nacorda

True to its description as “pueblo amante de Maria” or “a people in love with Mary,” throngs of Catholic faithfuls and Marian devotees trooped to the different churches in Cebu on Friday to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The event has been one of the most prominent and highly observed feasts of the Catholic Church especially in the Philippines, said Msgr. Joseph Tan, the media liaison officer of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

“This is important to us because, technically, the official and principal patroness of the Philippines is the Immaculate Conception,” he said in an interview.

“Our country has always been considered as a land loved by Mary, and a land that loves Mary. We’ve been entrusted to her and placed under her maternal care. This is the reason why we are still very Christian as a nation — a proof of Mary’s protection,” he added.

The Immaculate Conception is also the patroness of many cathedrals in the Philippines, including the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown Cebu City.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma presided over the 4 p.m. Mass, which was followed by a solemn procession of the image of the Immaculate Conception owned by renowned Cebuano iconographer and Marian devotee Clodoveo “Louie” Nacorda.

In his homily, Palma said the Blessed Virgin Mary was a manifestation of God’s great love for His people.

“We thank God for Mary. We honor her because among all women, Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Thanks be to God for also giving her to us as our mother,” he said.

“God has done wondrous things for her. Mary was loved by God. And the God of love and mercy is the same God who shows His mercy to all of us,” he added.

Born without sin

According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, Mary was conceived by her mother, St. Anne, free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ.

The Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception every December 8.

In many Catholic countries, including the Philippines, it is a holy day of obligation wherein Catholics are urged to attend the Mass like during Sundays.

In March 2017, the House of Representatives approved the bill authored by House Majority leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas to declare December 8 of every year a special non-working holiday in the entire country in celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

The Senate, however, has yet to approve its version of the bill.

Tan said Mary’s immaculate conception by St. Anne was part of the history of salvation of mankind.

“We believe that God went out of his way to prepare a woman who will become the mother of His son who is free from sin. That mother whose womb Jesus comes from must be equally free from sin,” he said.

“Since human beings are in the state of sin because of original sin, God made a special exemption that in view of Mary’s role as mother of God, she would be the first to enjoy the fullness of God’s redeeming grace. Therefore she was born without sin, exempted from original sin,” he added.

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TAGS: Catholics, HOMAGE, Mama Mary, pay

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