Cebu’s ‘Patrocinio de Maria’ receives papal crown

Cebu’s ‘Patrocinio de Maria’ receives papal crown

The image of “Patrocinio de María Santísima” in Boljoon, Cebu receives canonical coronation on April 23, 2022. PHOTOS BY SAMMY NAVAJA

By Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban

April 24, 2022

Manila, Philippines

The 442-year old Marian image of the “Patrocinio de María Santísima” (Patronage of the Most Holy Mary) in the parish of Cebu province’s Boljoon town was canonically crowned on Saturday, April 23.

The Mass and coronation was led by Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, together with Cebu Archbishop José Palma.

Also among those in attendance were Palo Archbishop John Du, Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones and the Cebu clergy.

In his homily, the papal nuncio noted that “we can say that Patrocinio means ‘patronage’, María Santísima means the ‘most Holy Mary’.”

“She is our protector. She is our patron. She is our defender. She is our Mother who loves us with deep and maternal love,” Brown said.

Palma in his thanksgiving message mentioned that “we manifest our gratitude to Mama Mary for being a Mother to us, and for being a Patron to us since the beginning of this parish in 1606 until this time.”

Brown and Palma placed the crowns blessed in the name of Pope Francis to the images of the Mother and Child and a scepter was placed in the Virgin’s hand.

Brown, who was also present during 2nd National Mission Congress in Cebu from April 18 to 22 that culminates the Quincentennial Year of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, also expressed the link between the devotion to the Virgin Mary to the arrival of Christianity in the country.

He said that, “for you, as Filipino people, celebrating 500 years of Christianity in this archipelago, we should be thanking God for the gift of faith, the gift of being able to say ‘I believe’ — I believe in God.”

“I believe in Jesus. I believe in the life of the world to come. I believe. What a gift it is,” he added.

According to the Canonical Coronation Committee, the image’s aureola or the halo with 12 stars is figured as “crafted waves, which symbolize the town of Boljoon, whose name is derived from the word “bolho” which is translated as ‘springs of water’ as the abundance of water is one of the town’s trademarks.”

Boljoon Church, formally known as Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de María Parish, was founded by the Augustinians as a parish in 1690. Due to its well-preserved structure, the church was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1999 and a National Cultural Treasure in 2001.

The Cebu archdiocese is home to the Santo Niño de Cebu, one of only four canonically crowned images of the Holy Child in the world. It is also home to two other canonically crowned Marian images: Virgen de la Regla in Lapu-Lapu City and Virgen de Guadalupe in Cebu City.

The archdiocese also has six episcopally crowned Marian images: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Cebu City; Our Lady of Remedies, Labangon; Our Lady of Remedies, Odlot; Our Lady of Lourdes, Punta Princesa; La Inmaculada Concepción, Cebu City; and Our Lady of Mount Carmel – La Limpia, Cebu City.

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