Cardinal leads Hagonoy fiesta on 25th shrine anniversary

Cardinal leads Hagonoy fiesta on 25th shrine anniversary

Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales venerates a cross during the town fiesta of Hagonoy, Bulacan, which boasts 115 priest-sons. KENDRICK IVAN PANGANIBAN

HAGONOY, BULACAN – The National Shrine and Parish of St. Anne in this town celebrated on July 26 its parish fiesta with a Misa Mayor led by Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, concelebrated by Malolos Bishop Jose F. Oliveros, priests from the Diocese of Malolos, and priest-sons of the town assigned in different areas of the country.

In his homily for the said celebration, the prelate noted how the town of Hagonoy can be compared to the famous city of Venice in Italy. Both towns are surrounded by water and are full of religious people who have believed in “God throughout the years.” Focusing on the Gospel, which talked about true blessedness, Rosales noted that like Jesus’ grandparents, Saints Anne and Joachim, the faithful can be blessed by seeing and recognizing Christ in every person they encounter.

Oliveros, in his thanksgiving message, stressed the role of the elderly in Church and in society. He told the faithful that being older and wiser gives them the role of reminding the family about spreading Christ’s word throughout the world.

Hagonoy is known for having 115 priest-sons, testifying to the religiosity of the people under the inspiration of its patroness, St. Anne. Many of those who concelebrated the Mass are members of the Kapatiran ng Kapariang Taga-Hagonoy, Inc., an association established in 1971 to promote brotherhood among the town’s priest-sons.

In the afternoon, the more than century-old image of St. Anne and the Blessed Virgin Mary or La Verdedara was carried to the sanctuary for the Beso Mano or the annual veneration of the town’s antique image. It was brought out in procession around the immediate vicinity of the parish in the evening.

This concluded the month-long celebration, which included fluvial processions, street dances, free medical and physical services, and devotional activities in honor of the patron saints of the elderly. (Johnny C. Clemente/CBCPNews)