Our Lady of Mercy declared ‘Mother of Novaliches’
Bishop Roberto Gaa uses incense as he venerates an image of Our Lady of Mercy during a Mass at the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Novaliches, Quezon City on Jan. 1, 2021. SCREENSHOT/DSPOLM
By Minnie Agdeppa
January 3, 2021
Novaliches, Quezon City
Bishop Roberto Gaa of Novaliches has declared Our Lady of Mercy as the second patroness of the 18-year-old diocese.
The official declaration was held during Mass to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on Jan. 1 at the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Quezon City’s Novaliches district.
The move stemmed from a petition filed by parish rector Fr. Peregrino Tomas, seeking to proclaim Mary under the said title as the “Mother of Novaliches”.
Citing part of the petition, Gaa said that 165 years ago, the shrine was the only parish in Novaliches.
“And from her sprung so many offsprings and rightly so, she is Ina,” according to the bishop. “She is a mother. The mother of many parishes and the Mother of Novaliches.”
“This is why when we received the petition, when we examined it, we deemed it worthy to start the process of formally taking on the name ‘Ina ng Novaliches,'” he said.
An image of Our Lady of Mercy, the “Mother of Novaliches,” is placed in a pick-up vehicle during a motorcade procession across the Diocese of Novaliches on Jan. 1, 2021. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHERRY ANN BROSAS
Fr. Tomas cited at least three points why the Our Lady of Mercy is the mother of Novaliches: historical, geographical, and devotional.
Aside from being the diocese’s first parish, he said that the devotion to Our Lady of Mercy has grown faster with devotees coming from in and outside the diocese.
“It may be noisy here, but here is where people pray. Here is where they talk and pour out their hearts to ‘Ina ng Awa’. Our mother is here, ‘Ina ng Novaliches’,” he said.
The parish actually houses three old images of Our Lady of Mercy: the “Primera” or the original image brought by the Augustinians in 1856 and kept in her own retablo at the shrine’s second floor, the “Segunda” or the image usually used in processions and pilgrimages, and the “Tercera” or the life-sized image enshrined in the church’s altar.
A motorcade procession of the images of the “Mother of Novaliches” was held across the diocese.
Novaliches was erected a diocese in December 2002, with Christ, the Good Shepherd as its principal patron.
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