Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag celebrated in Vienna

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Filipinos have a love for the Blessed Mother that has brought them through the joys and uncertainties of life. For them, her connection to Jesus, her son, keeps their relationship with the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts real. They often credit the Blessed Mother and her apparitions with maintaining the Catholic faith in the Philippines.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Vienna, Austria

On Sunday, April 21, 2024, the Association of Pangasinenses in Austria, in collaboration with the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy, celebrated the feast in honor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag.

The devotion to Our Lady of Manaoag includes two feast days: the first in the summer, on the third Wednesday after Easter, and then again on the first Sunday in October. The summer feast commemorates the papal coronation of the image of Our Lady of Manaoag in 1926, and the October feast is connected to Mary’s title as Our Lady of the Rosary.

The feast day began with the prayer of the Holy Rosary conducted on the grounds of Töllergasse Parish.  A procession of the image of „Apo Baket“ followed, ending in the church. It was a special celebration as flower offerings were made in the liturgy. The APA Choir rendered the liturgical songs with the Marian songs. Many faithful joined the celebration. They were all gathered to pray and ask for Our Lady’s intercession.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Alvin, one of the Filipino Chaplains.

The celebrant preached on the Blessed Mother’s faith and related it to the faith of Filipinos worldwide. “It is through Mary that we learn to welcome Christ into our lives, pray, and stand in solidarity with others,” the priest said.

After the Mass, a sumptuous lunch was held at the multipurpose hall of the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish.

It was a remarkable celebration because the church was jam-packed with Filipino devotees.

The celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Manaoag in the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish may be considered the culminating activity for the feast day of Our Lady of Manaoag in Vienna. The event was organized by the Association of Pangasinenses in Austria.

Our Lady of Manaoag is the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in Manaoag, a town in Pangasinan, Philippines. Under this title, she is invoked as the patroness of the sick, helpless, and needy.

Our Lady of Manaoag is depicted in a 17th-century ivory and silver image of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus. Brought to the Philippines from Spain in the early 17th century by Father Juan de San Jacinto, the statue is now enshrined at the high altar of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag.

The church was built on the site of a Marian apparition in Manaoag. Documents dating to 1610 attest that a middle-aged farmer walking home heard a mysterious female voice. He looked around and saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary on a cloud-veiled treetop, holding a rosary in her right hand and the Child Jesus in her left arm, all amid a heavenly glow. Mary told the farmer where she wanted her church to be built, and a chapel was built on the apparition’s hilltop site, forming the present town’s nucleus.

Today, thousands of pilgrims flock to the shrine and basilica in Manaoag.

A replica of the statue is at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Vienna’s 21st District.

  • Text/Pictures: Hector Pascua
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