By Christina Hermoso
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle will preside over a high Mass at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral) in Intramuros, Manila at 12:10 p.m. tomorrow, in celebration of one of the principal feasts of the Blessed Mother, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Holy masses will also be held at the church at 7:30 a.m. and at 6 p.m.
At the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao, Quezon City, fiesta masses will be celebrated at 5:30 a.m., 6:10 a.m., 7 a.m., 12 noon, 6 p.m., and at 7:10 p.m.
Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco will preside over the diocesan mass at 10:30 a.m.
The Grand Marian Procession, a prelude to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, was held last Sunday, December 3, in Intramuros, Manila. Several Catholic schools held Marian vigils last night in anticipation of the feast.
In Catholic churches and Marian shrines across the country, crowds of Marian devotees are expected to attend the special commemorative masses in honor of the Principal Patroness of the Philippines.
Novenas, special devotions, candle offerings, and the recitation of the Holy Rosary will also be observed.
The observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the Roman Catholic dogma, “Ineffabilis Deus,” as defined by Pope Pius IX on Dec. 8, 1854 which affirmed the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary, “in the first instance of her conception, was, by a unique grace and privilege by the Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”
According to Church officials, “The universal redemption of Jesus was anticipated for Mary at the time of her conception by her mother, Saint Anne, in view of her divine motherhood.
Mary’s immaculate conception enhances Jesus’ redemptive work. While humans are cleansed from original sin through baptism, in Mary, Jesus’ work was “so powerful as to prevent original sin at the onset.”
In 1858, during the Blessed Mother’s apparition in Lourdes, France, she introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception to St. Bernadette. (Christina I. Hermoso)