By Christina Hermoso
Several pontifical masses will be celebrated Sunday, September 22, at the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga City in Camarines Sur, in solemn observance of the Feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia, fondly called by devotees as “Ina” (mother), the highly revered patroness of the Bicol Region.
With the theme “Doing Christ’s Mission with Youthful Hearts with Mary,” today marks the 309th year of widespread and intense devotion to the Blessed Mother in the region.
Holy masses will be held at 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m., and at 6 p.m.
Novena masses were held from September 13 to 21.
Rites in celebration of the feast were also observed in other places like in Metro Manila, where triduum novena masses and a procession were organized by the Penafrancia Devotees Association in Metro Manila for those who cannot attend the festivities in Naga.
Feast masses in honor of “Ina” were organized as well by Bicolanos and devotees who are now based in other countries such as in the United States.
Meanwhile, a large crowd of homecoming Bicolanos and devotees witnessed Friday afternoon the much-awaited grand fluvial procession along the Naga River that brought back the images of Our Lady and the Divino Rostro (Holy Face of Jesus) from the centuries-old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral to the Basilica Minore.
Devotion to “Ina” started in 1710 with the small community of Fr. Miguel Robles de Covarrubias, and has grown and became widespread and has extended even to non-Bicolanos.