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September is a festive month for the Bikolanos in Austria ( and Bikolanos scattered around the world!) as they celebrate the yearly Feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia. In the Philippines, this is biggest Marian event.
The festival honors Bicol’s patroness, Our Lady of Peñafrancia, whose image (a copy of the Madonna) was believed to have miraculous powers and has healed devotees. During her feast day, people gather to thank and pay her homage for the favors received.
A lot of things happen during this month-long festival, with the most important ones held on the third week of September: the 9-day novena and the fluvial parade which takes place a day after the 9th day novena.
The Fluvial Procession on Saturday, September 21, 2019 which takes the image of Ina (Our Lady of Penafrancia) will travel from the dock of the Schiffahrtszentrum in Vienna to the dock of Dürnstein, a province in the Lower Austrian region. It is a re-creation of the Lady’s voyage from the Naga Cathedral, where the novena was held, back to her shrine at the Basilica Minore following the Naga River route. A procession going to the church where a Holy Mass will take place, follows.
Just like the traslacion, this will be attended by devotees shouting the words “Viva La Virgen” and “Viva El Divino Rostro” as a sign of their respect to the Virgin Mary.
Leading the celebration are the Bikol Society in Austria under leadership of Marizel Rojas, and the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy in Vienna.
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