Hagonoy holds episcopal coronation of Marian image
Bishop Dennis Villarojo of Malolos (left) leads the episcopal coronation of Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario de Hagonoy on Oct. 7. PHOTO COURTESY OF JAYCEE IMPERIAL
By Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban
October 10, 2019
The Diocese of Malolos celebrated its second episcopal coronation this year with the crowning of the revered image of Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario de Hagonoy on Oct. 7, her feast day.
Held at Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Parish at Barrio Sto. Rosario in this town, the celebration was led by Bishop Dennis Villarojo with the local clergy and hundreds of devotees.
In his homily, Bishop Villarojo cited the example of Mary saying, “We see the living faith of Mary in what we do today as she gives us an example of serving her Son.”
The bishop also reflected on the death of Ken Gerald de Jesus, a young parish volunteer who died last month inside the church in an accident.
He said, “Ken Gerald was an active youth here in this parish. When I was asked to visit him one month ago, I saw how lonely the people here were. He was a good friend to many of the volunteers here.”
He added, “Yet his life is not a life wasted. He is not an offering to make this coronation grand and festive. He was an example. He chose to stay in the church so late at night, unlike many of our youth today, to help clean and decorate the church.”
The bishop pointed that, “it is in such an example that we see how we ought to live like Mary. Our celebration in her honor should give us the inspiration to live humble and faithful lives.”
Santisimo Rosario Parish Administrator Fr. Lou Salvador Jess De Silva noted in his thanksgiving speech that it is the faith of the parishioners “that have made this event alive”.
“We know that Mary herself was already crowned by God in heaven. We do this as a way of thanking our Mother who has never left us despite the challenges of life here in Hagonoy,” he said.
A coastal town afflicted by flooding, the faithful of the town seek the intercession of the patroness during such moments of trial.
The coronation was followed by a procession across the barrios under the parish, with devotees from different neighboring towns and parishes present.
According to historical research, the image was found on the banks of the river near the present church site around the 1700’s to the 1800’s.
With the town being under the Augustinians during the Spanish era, it is believed that the devotion to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in the town was influenced by Orani, home of La Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario del Pueblo de Orani, a canonically-crowned image in Bataan, at the other side of the Manila Bay.
Also, records of the fall of Bataan in 1942 increased the devotion to Our Lady in Hagonoy brought by the influx of refugees from Bataan towns via boat from the peninsula which resulted in a population boom. This resulted for the parish of Sto. Rosario to be established by Manila Archbishop Gabriel M. Reyes in 1952.
The event is the sixth Marian coronation to occur in the Diocese of Malolos.
It was preceded by the canonical coronation of La Virgen Inmaculada Concepcion de Malolos in 2012 and the episcopal coronations of Nuestra Señora dela Inmaculada Concepcion de Salambao (Obando, Bulacan) in 2004, Our Lady of Fatima (Valenzuela City) in 2017, La Purisima Concepcion de Santa Maria in 2018 and Nuestra Señora del Carmen de San Sebastian de Pulong Buhangin (Santa Maria, Bulacan) in September 2019.