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SApril 22, 2018 – Vienna, Austria – The Association of Pangasinenses in Austria (APA) led by its President Mrs. Lumen Alican and devotees of our Lady of Manaoag celebrated the feast of Mary on April 22, 2018 at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Töllergasse, 1210 Vienna, where the image of the Virgin Mary (also called Apo Baket) is housed.
Before the celebration, officers and members of the Association of Pangasinenses in Austria and other devotees held a nine day Novena in honor of Our lady of Manaoag. The congregation prayed the rosary and brought flowers to the replica of the image of Our Lady.
The celebration was highlighted by a short procession around the church vicinity. It was followed by a Holy Mass officiated by Fr.Tany Sunico, SVD
„I pray that as we come to celebrate her Feast of Apo Baket, may we find her wholehearted love for her Son so that we, a people in loved with Mary, may find as well the joy of participating in the life and mission of Jesus in our catholic community here in Austria,“ Fr. Tany Sunico said in his sermon during the mass.
The devotion to the Lady of Manaoag started in Vienna through the intiative of its former President Mario Valdez, who brought the image of our Lady of Manaoag to Vienna. Since then, the Association of Pangasinenses in Austria traditionally celebrates the Feast of Lady of Manaoag on the third Sunday of April and in October.
Fr. Josef Giggenbacher, parish priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Töllergasse commended the Pangasinan group and devotees for organizing a successful Fiesta of our Lady of Manaoag, bringing together the Filipino-Austrian community, and showcasing the Filipinos devotion to the Virgin Mary.
Fr. Giggenbacher likewise expressed his deep appreciation to 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 Filipino community.
“Our Lady of Manaoag is the patron saint of the province of Pangasinan and also of Filipinos, especially for immigrants,” one of the organizer of the religious event said.
„Good to know that our Lady of Manaoag was brought to Austria. The Blessed Virgin of Manaoag is indeed an effective intercessor..In all my petitions, she‘s always there to intercede in my behalf. I know it and I can feel it,“ another devotee said.
Just like any other gatherings, the feast day celebration of our lady of Manaoag concluded with the partaking of food provided by the Association of Pangasineses in Austria and Our Lady of Manaoag devotees.
Pope Francis had turned the Pangasinan church in 2014 into a basilica.
Pope Francis gave the title “minor basilica” to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan province in 2014.
The Manaoag shrine houses the image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, which most Catholics believe is miraculous.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said that the shrine is an affiliate of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
In the Catholic Church, the Pope can honor a church with the title of minor basilica if it has “particular importance for liturgical and pastoral life.“
Indulgence for churchgoers
The title of minor basilica comes with certain privileges. One of these is a plenary indulgence, which Paul VI defined as “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned.”
An indulgence “is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin,” Paul VI said in the apostolic constitution Indulgentiarum Doctrina.
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