Marian exhibit: Pontifically crowned images at San Agustin Museum

Marian exhibit: Pontifically crowned images at San Agustin Museum

The “Regina Caeli: An Exhibition of the Pontifically Crowned Marian Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Philippines” runs from Oct. 10 to 31 at the San Agustin Museum in Intramuros, Manila. PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL DELOS REYES

By Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban

October 12, 2019

Manila, Philippines

At least 35 pontifically crowned Marian images are on display at the San Agustin Museum in Intramuros, Manila.

Formally opened on Oct. 10, the exhibit is a joint undertaking of the museum and the different Marian shrines and parishes in the country.

Dubbed as “Regina Caeli,” the exhibit aims to show that the Philippines is “Pueblo Amante de Maria” or a people in love with Mary.

Exhibit writer and researcher Michael Delos Reyes said that the initiative is also in celebration of the month of Mary this October.

“We have a special opportunity to make a pilgrimage to one place and venerate most of the replicas of these crowned Marian images, many of which came from their very own shrines and churches,” he said.

Monsignor Gabriele Viola, secretary of papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, led the opening and blessing of the exhibit with several dignitaries, Marian devotees, and art enthusiasts.

Government officials from the country’s cultural agencies were also present, including Intramuros Administration Director Atty. Guiller Asido.

San Agustin Museum Director Fr. Ricky Villar said the exhibit will be part of the normal-rate visits at the museum.

On Oct. 27, however, the museum is giving free entrance from 8 to 12 noon for all visitors in celebration of the Philippine Museum and Galleries Month.

The rite of a pontifical or canonical coronation is a grace for which the pope, through the review of the Congregation on Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, grants a specific Marian image and title a special recognition in the universal Church as a cause for devotion in a region or country.

Such are requested by the bishops of each diocese when this devotion attracts pilgrims from different places to venerate the Blessed Mother in a town in their dioceses.

There are at least 42 Marian images that have been granted a pontifical coronation and enshrined in shrines and churches across the country: 37 in Luzon, four in the Visayas and one in Mindanao.

Three more will be crowned in 2020: La Purisima Concepcion de Santa Maria in Bulacan on Feb. 1, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in Quezon on March 25 and Nuestra Señora de Lourdes of Quezon City whose date has yet to be announced.

The ongoing exhibit runs until October 31, 2019.