By Christina Hermoso
Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia called on the faithful “to strive to imitate Mary by living our lives with love.”
“What is important is to be close to those who are helpless, alone, in need, and suffering. What we experience in our life with the Blessed Mother, we are called to do for others,” Caccia said in his homily during the canonical coronation of the image of the Our Lady of Pillar at the Our Lady of Pillar Parish in Morong, Bataan.
The image of Our Lady of Pillar was crowned on Wednesday, nearly a year after the venerated image was granted an episcopal coronation by the Vatican.
It was the first coronation since the Diocese of Balanga was established, and the second crowned image in Balanga after the Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Orani was canonically crowned in 1959 under Pope John XXII.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, who concelebrated the mass with the Nuncio said, “The coronation was Pope Francis’ gift to the diocese which was erected in 1975. It is his grace, it is his gift to the Diocese of Balanga,” Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, who concelebrated the mass with the Nuncio said, Nuestra Señora del Pillar de Morong is the 39th canonically crowned Marian image in the Philippines.
It is enshrined at the coral-stone Our Lady of the Pillar Church in Morong, which was built in 1607, making the structure one of the oldest in Bataan.