Filipinos commemorate arrival of ‘Apo Badoc’ in Rome
Fr. Alex de León presides over Mass at the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana on May 23 to mark the second anniversary of the arrival of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc’s replica in Rome. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
By Buena Luz
May 27, 2021
Filipino devotees of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc in Rome remembered the arrival of her replica in the eternal city on May 23.
The small replica was given in May 2019 by Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag to the Filipinos in Rome during the “Ad Limina” visit of Philippine bishops.
Hundreds of Filipinos gathered at the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana in Rome’s Via Urbana to thank La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc for her powerful intercession and protection, especially during the most critical time of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy.
It must be remembered that during last year’s national lockdown, devotees of the revered image started an online prayer brigade asking the intercession and protection of Our Lady amidst the deadly virus.
At present, anti-Covid restrictions are beginning to relax in Italy. Last March 24, the country was declared under the “Yellow Zone,” which means significantly more freedom, though certain key restrictions remain in place.
Again travel between Italian regions is possible without restrictions.
Start of curfew was adjusted from 10pm to 11pm nightly. Restaurants, bars, cafes, bakeries, ice cream parlors and all other food businesses can reopen but to close at 11pm. However, the policy of strict wearing of masks are still in place.
New Covid infections are now dropping in number after Italy started administering vaccines since December 27, 2020.
As of May 26, 35% of Italian population has received at least one dose of the anti-Covid vaccines.
In last Sunday’s Mass which coincided with the Solemnity of the Pentecost, the presider and homilist Fr. Alex de León stressed that Mary’s maternal role in the history of redemption depended on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in her.
De León is the parish priest of Rome’s Church of Sts. Elizabeth and Zechariah and a native of Ilocos Norte where the revered image of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc is enshrined in her basilica.
Each of the three days before the end of the Novena, spiritual messages were given by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Bishop Mayugba and Fr. Freddie Astudillo, Rector of the Badoc Basilica.
The solemn commemoration was organized by the Commission on Worship of the “Sentro Pilipino” Chaplaincy of the Diocese of Rome.
In her thanksgiving words, Flordeliza Villa, one among the promoters of the devotion, expressed gratitude to all who participated and announced that the replica is to round again in Filipino houses now that anti-Covid restrictions have been loosened.
Meanwhile, on May 25, a Thanksgiving Mass was also offered in the Badoc Basilica for the 2nd Anniversary of the enthronement of another replica of La Virgen Milagrosa in Obereisesheim, Germany.
The Mass was live-streamed allowing devotees in Germany and other parts of the world to join the celebration.
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