Our Lady of the Pillar image crowned in Bataan

Our Lady of the Pillar image crowned in Bataan

By CBCP News

October 10, 2018

Morong, Bataan

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga leads the Episcopal Coronation of the image of the Nuestra Señora del Pillar de Morong on Oct. 12, 2017.   PHOTO COURTESY OF OLPP MORONG

The image of Our Lady of the Pillar venerated in a parish in Morong town was crowned on Wednesday, the first ever canonical coronation in Bataan peninsula since the Balanga diocese was erected.

The solemn mass and coronation rite was led by Papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia with Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga at the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church.

Bishop Santos said the coronation is Pope Francis’ gift to the diocese which was erected in 1975.

“It is his grace, it is his gift to the Diocese of Balanga,” the prelate said.

In his homily, Archbishop Caccia said Catholics should strive imitate Mary “by living our lives with love and by being witness in everything we do”.

“What is important is to be close to those who are helpless, alone, in need, and suffering,” he said. “What we experienced in our life with the Blessed Mother, we are called to do for others.”

The diocese’s historic occasion was held almost seven months after Pope Francis approved the coronation.

On Oct. 12, 2017, the image was granted an Episcopal Coronation.

While it was the first coronation since the diocese was established, the image is the second crowned image in Balanga next to Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Orani in 1959 under Pope John XXII.

Nuestra Señora del Pillar de Morong is the 39th canonically crowned Marian image in the Philippines.

Built in 1607, the coral-stone Our Lady of the Pillar Church is one of the oldest in Bataan and considered one of the oldest seats of Catholic faith in the country.