by Christina Hermoso
The venerated image of the Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu was canonically crowned recently after three centuries of devotion in the Philippines.
Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo canonically crowned the revered image of Our Lady during a mass which was attended by thousands of devotees at her diocesan shrine and parish in San Mateo, Rizal.
The Holy Father Pope Francis approved the canonical coronation of the image of the Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu in July 2016, making the icon the third canonically crowned image of the Blessed Mother in the Diocese of Antipolo after the image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in 1926, and Marikina’s patroness, Our Lady of the Abandoned in 2005.
In his homily, Quevedo urged the faithful “to turn to Mary in praying for healing, unity, and peace in the country. Allow her and her child to be the queen and the king of our minds and hearts, the king and queen of our families,” he said.
The prelate said the coronation is a recognition of the “maturity of faith and devotion of the faithful in San Mateo. It is also a recognition of the strong Marian devotion in the Philippines as proven by the many stories of miracles and favors granted through her intercession,” the cardinal added.
Devotion to the Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu started in 1469 in Spain when the Virgin Mary appeared nestled in a thorny bush to young Rodrigo de Balzategui. It was brought to the Philippines in 1705 by the Jesuits through Fr. Juan Echazabal. A church in honor of Our Lady was built in San Mateo in 1716.