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With flowers, songs in Tagalog and prayers for peace, children and adults honored Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag on October 2, 2016 at the Filipino Chaplaincy church, Pfarre Salvator am Wienerfeld, 1100 Vienna.
“I am a devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary since I was a little child. And I believe that whenever Mama Mary whispers something into the ear of the Holy Infant Jesus, He listens to her,” a devotee said.
Folk tradition says that many centuries ago, the Virgin Mary appeared in front of a middle-aged farmer in the Pangasinan province of the Philippines instructing him to build a church on a hill. The apparition and many miraculous signs started a devotion to the Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, otherwise known as Nuestra Señora de Manaoag.
In the 17th century, locals and tribes from the mountains resisted converting to Catholicism, resulting in Dominican friars spreading conversion by introducing Our Lady of Manaoag as a “powerful protectress” of the sick, helpless and needy. Since then, the Virgin Mary has been an instrument in fostering Filipino Catholic piety in that region.
The ivory image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag – which depicts the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus in her left arm and a Rosary in her right hand – is enshrined in the high altar of a church standing on a hilltop in Manaoag and is said to possess miraculous powers. The image was canonically crowned in 1926, meaning that the Vatican officially proclaimed that Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag had granted favors and blessings.
Pope Francis gave Our Lady of Manaoag Church, which has been under the care of the Philippine Dominican province, the title of “minor basilica” in February.
The celebration of the Feast of our Lady of Manaoag in Vienna took place on October 2, 2016.
The Association of Pangasinenses in Austria facilitated the event in an effort to celebrate the month of Mary and propagate Marian devotion.
Our Lady of Manaoag is the patron saint of the province of Pangasinan and also of Filipinos, especially for immigrants.
Following the Mass, the Association of Pangasinenses in Austria (APA) and devotees shared in food and fellowship.
The Filipino Chaplaincy here acknowledged that the purpose of this Marian celebration was to pray for peace through the intercession of the Virgin.
A nine-day novena was also held at the Pfarre Salvator am Wienerfeld organized by APA in preparation for her feast day.
The Filipino Catholic community is very much grateful to the officers and members of the Association of Pangasinenses in Austria for bringing the image of Our Lady of Manaoag to Austria as she inspires unity and hope in the religious community.
— Hector Pascua, philippine-press.com