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Vienna, Austria – May 12, 2019 — Association of Pangasinenses in Austria and a number of devotees honored with flowers, songs in Tagalog and prayers for peace Our Lady of Manaoag on May 12 2019. The Feast was held at the Sacred Heart Parish, Töllergasse, 1210 Vienna.
„I wish to welcome you all here in our Parish. It is a great privilage that we have the image of the Blessed Virgin mary here in our church,“ Fr. Joseph Giggenbacher, the parish priest of Sacred Heart Parish welcomed the Filipino congregation.
“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,” one of the devotee contended.
Efren Alican, one oft he organizer of the Feast of our Lady of Manaoag expressed his gratitude for the countless blessings, he, his family and the Association of Pangasinenses in Austria have received through the intercession of „Apo Baket“.
„I am very glad that we have reached this 10th year anniversary of devotion to Apo Baket. It is a fitting opportunity to thank God, through the intercession of our Lady of Manaoag, for his benevolence throughout those years of continous devotion,“ Efren Alican said.
Before the celebration on May 12, 2019 members of the Association 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 on May 12, 2019 was highlighted by a short procession around the church vicinity. It was followed by a Holy Mass officiated by Rev. Father Tanyson Sunico, SVD.
In his message during the mass, Fr. Tanyson expressed his deep appreciation to the Association of Pangasinses in Austria for bringing the image of Our Lady of Manaoag to the country as she inspires unity and hope not only in the Filipino community but also in the Austrian context.
“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.
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.
History of our Lady of Manaoag
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.
The town of Manaoag now receives thousands of pilgrims converging to attend Mass, pray the Rosary and offer flowers. The image is most visited during May and in October, when Mary is celebrated as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. 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.
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