By Christina Hermoso
Throngs of devotees that include homecoming Bicolanos, pilgrims, and tourists are expected to crowd the Naga riverbanks at 4 p.m. tomorrow for the much-anticipated grand fluvial procession of the venerated images of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and the Divino Rostro (Holy Face of Jesus) that will be brought back to the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
As has been the tradition, devotees will be waving white handkerchiefs while praying the holy rosary, singing hymns, or kneeling down in prayer as the carriage, which is usually accompanied by smaller vessels, passes by.
The festive fluvial procession along the Naga River serves as the highlight of the annual feast of Our Lady of Peafrancia as the images of “Ina, ”the patroness of the Bicol Region, and the Divino Rostro are brought back to the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, from the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, where the images were brought for the novena masses on September 7 via the Traslacion procession.
Several activities will be held Friday including a penitential procession at 3 a.m. A pontifical mass will be celebrated by Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona at the Naga Cathedral at 6:15 a.m., to be followed by a second pontifical mass to be officiated by Bishop Joel Z. Baylon at 10:15 a.m.
Church bells will peal at 12 noon. Confession rites will be held at the basilica grounds from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., to be followed by a pontifical mass at 6:30 p.m. to be officiated by Manila Auxiliary Bishop
Broderick S. Pabillo.