Laoag diocese marks coronation anniversary of ‘Apo Badoc’
Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag presides over the Mass to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the pontifical coronation of the image of “La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc” at the Badoc Basilica on Sunday, May 31. SCREENSHOT/LA VIRGIN MILAGROSA DE BADOC FACEBOOK PAGE
By Buena Luz
June 1, 2020
The Diocese of Laoag on Sunday commemorated the 2nd anniversary of the pontifical coronation of the image of “La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc”, the revered patroness of Ilocos Norte.
Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag led the celebration with a Mass at the Badoc Basilica amidst a limited assembly in compliance with government protocols against Covid-19.
At least three priests concelebrated including Fr. Freddie Astudillo, the basilica rector.
May 31 marked the day when Cardinal Luís Antonio Tagle, then Archbishop of Manila, crowned the “miraculous” image in the name of Pope Francis in 2018.
In his homily, the bishop stressed that the festivity, which also coincided with the Solemnity of the Pentecost and Feast of the Visitation, is a reminder of Mary “as the chosen vessel of God for the outpuring of the Holy Spirit.”
“She who was the first to receive the Holy Spirit, facilitates our receiving of the Holy Spirit,” Mayugba said.
Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, also expressed his communion to the celebration in a video message sent from Rome.
He reminded that the Lord is always in the midst of everyone in front of crisis and uncertainties that come “…and that is shown through our Beloved Mother.”
“Let us cling to her as we get near to the Lord,” the cardinal added.
In September this year, the diocese will also mark the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the revered image.
Fr. Astudillo hopes that a more festive quadricentennial celebration will be observed when the present crisis is over.
The image was found around 1620 in the shores of Dadalaquiten, the boundary between the towns of Badoc and Sinait.
Along with Marian statue was the Black Crucified Christ of Sinait, contained in a crate floating along the shore where local fishermen were casting their nets.
It is believed that the images were drifted ashore by the persecuted Christians in Japan to avoid iconoclasm and persecution.
The images were supposed to be brought to the Church of Sinait, which was the mother-parish of Badoc. Story has it, that at their discovery, the image of the Virgin could not be carried by Sinait fishermen when intended to bring it to Sinait. When Badoc fishermen tried their luck, the image became light to them. It was understood that the Virgin wanted to be enshrined in the “visita” of Badoc. The crucifix, however, was brought to Sinait.
Down the centuries, devotees had been coming to Badoc to ask the Virgin’s intercession. There were recorded miracles. History recalls that when the Ilocos region was struck by epidemics, the help of the miraculous image was sought. It was recorded that in 1656 and 1660, the image was brought to Vigan that her presence would quell the crisis in that epidemic-stricken town.
During this present pandemic caused by Covid-19, local and overseas devotees prayed through her as seen in some social media accounts.
On May 31, 2018, the image was crowned by order of the Holy See. Not long after, in a Solemn Rite on February 5, 2019, her shrine in Badoc was elevated as the 15th Minor Basilica in the Philippines.
Bishop Mayugba encouraged the faithful to celebrate Masses of thanksgiving to Apo Badoc for the protection and intercession of the Virgin.
The province of Ilocos Norte to date remains free from the pandemic.