A series of religious activities to mark the 400th year of the arrival of the first image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to the country is scheduled tomorrow, May 4.
The festivities will kick off at 5 a.m. with a fluvial parade at the Manila Bay where the icon’s departure from Mexico and arrival in Manila on May 4, 1618 will be re-enacted in the Salubong.
The original icon was given as a gift by Discalced Carmelite nuns of Mexico to the third batch of Augustinian Recollects missionaries who arrived in the country 400 years ago.
After the Salubong, a holy mass to be officiated by CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles and concelebrated by other bishops and priests will be held at the Quirino Grandstand.
The image will then be transported from the grandstand to its Recollect Shrine of San Sebastian Basilica, passing by Quiapo Church where the Black Nazarene will appear for the reversed “Dungaw”.
Carmel Re-enthronement and Plenary Indulgence
The Augustinian Recollect Provincial Superior Rev. Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR, will lead the Rites of Re-enthronement during the 6:30 PM Mass later in the day.
The Sacred Penitentiary of the Catholic Church in Vatican last year issued an official decree granting plenary indulgence to all who would participate in the yearlong celebration (July 2017 – July 2018)
following the usual conditions of going to confession, receiving communion, and praying for the intentions of the Pope.
Earlier this year His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D., Archbishop of Manila, also issued a circular letter reminding the faithful of the plenary indulgence they would gain by their attendance in activities of the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Plenary indulgence is defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a “remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.”
Devotion to the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, first introduced to the country by the Augustinian Recollect missionaries, has become one of the most popular devotions to Mary over the course of the centuries among Filipinos.
This is evident through the popularity of the consequent devotion to the Brown Scapular and to the seeming ubiquity of churches and schools placed under her patronage.
First housed at the Recollect convent in San Juan de Bagumbayan (where the present-day Planetarium stands), the original icon was enthroned on May 5, 1621 at the Church of San Sebastian, which was later elevated to the status of a basilica in 1890.
A hundred years after, St. John Paul II canonically crowned the icon in 1991 in recognition of the Filipinos’ age-old devotion.