After 67 years, La Naval visits ‘original home’ in Intramuros

After 67 years, La Naval visits ‘original home’ in Intramuros

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle crowns the image of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila during Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Jan. 24, 2020. PATRICK DOMINICK ROMERO

By CBCP News

January 24, 2020

Manila, Philippines

For the first time after 67 years, the original image of Our Lady of La Naval visited its first “home” in Manila’s Intramuros district on Friday.

A huge crowd of devotees filled the streets of the historic “walled city” as the image was carried in procession around the area.

The procession preceded a Mass presided over by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle at the Manila Cathedral.

The event was in celebration of the 400 years of the Dominican-run Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

At one part of the Mass, the cardinal led the commemoration of the 1907 canonical coronation of the image, now considered the oldest ivory carving in the Philippines.

In his homily, the outgoing archbishop of Manila encouraged the Letran community to devote the year “to prayerful discernment”.

“After 400 years, where is God calling our community? To what mission is the Lord leading us?” Cardinal Tagle said.

“May you be a community of prayer, patterned after the heart and the spirit of the prayer of Mary,” he added.

In 1593, a Chinese merchant was commissioned to carve the image of the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The statue was later entrusted to the Dominican friars for public veneration at the Santo Domingo Church that was then in Intramuros.

With the destruction of her original church in Intramuros after World War II, the image was temporarily housed at the University of Santo Tomas.

In 1954, the image was re-enshrined at the new Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

La Naval was formally declared the patroness of the city in 1973, which was at that time the country’s capital.

In 2012, the shrine was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines.

The image is brought in a procession in Quezon City every second Sunday of October during the Feast of La Naval.