By Christina Hermoso
Busloads of Marian devotees and pilgrims from across the country are expected to gather today at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as the Baclaran Church or Redemptorist Church, in Baclaran, Paranaque City, in celebration of the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Ina ng Laging Saklolo).
Eight feast masses will be celebrated at the church tomorrow starting at 6:30 a.m. A solemn procession will follow the high mass at 6 p.m., which will be officiated by Bishop Jesse Mercado. Novena masses were held from June 18 to 26.
Devotees traditionally light candles, pray the Holy Rosary, recite novena prayers, sing hymns, offer flowers, and take part in the evening procession in thanksgiving for answered prayers, ask for the Blessed Mother’s powerful intercession, or simply, pay homage to Our Lady under the special title of Mother of Perpetual Help.
Church officials encourage the faithful to pray and reflect on the “Memorare,” a special prayer of devotion and confidence on the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Known as one of the most visited Catholic churches in the country, the Baclaran Church receives hundreds of devotees particularly every Wednesday when traffic in the area gets heavier. The novena masses are an old tradition rooted from the Wednesday public novena established by the Redemptorist fathers in 1948.