JARO, Iloilo, Feb. 5, 2015 — Amid the challenges of the recent tragedy that befell the nation with the slaying of 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), an archbishop encouraged the faithful to have recourse to the maternal mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“It is also to Our Blessed Mother that we turn to in this time when our nation is grieving over the loss of the lives of the police officers in Mamasapano, Maguindanao,” said
Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo on Feb. 2 as he led the Archdiocese of Jaro in its celebration of the Presentation of Our Lord, popularly known as the “Jaro Fiesta”.
The prelate also led the faithful in an Act of Total Consecration of the Archdiocese of Jaro to Blessed Virgin Mary that day.
In an interview with CBCP News, Lagdameo explained that the act of total consecration to Holy Mary can be made anytime. But, since it was the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the act of consecration was renewed under the invocation of Our Lady of Candles.
“The act of total consecration to Holy Mary that we have renewed today takes on special significance when we consider the recent visit of the Holy Father who not only encouraged us and consoled us with his presence but also challenged us in our mission,” Lagdameo said.
The Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord forty days after Christmas day. It was also known as “Candlemas” or “Candelaria” since the blessing and procession of candles is included in feast’s liturgy.
Over the years other elements of celebration in the Jaro fiesta were added like the grand parade led by the young women of the elite Jaro families, the Agro-Industrial Charity Fair and the multi-million “Cock Derby”, which attracted cock-fighting enthusiasts from all over the country. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)