By Christina Hermoso
Bishop Francisco de Leon will celebrate a high mass at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 23, at the Saint Clement Parish Church in Angono, Rizal, in solemn commemoration of the Feast of Saint Clement (San Clemente), the patron saint of fishermen.
The Eucharistic celebration will be followed by the grand pagoda fluvial procession.
Local fish varieties like “kanduli,” “tilapia,” and “bangus,” caught during the fluvial parade are traditionally placed near the image of San Clemente for good luck and more blessings.
Holy masses will also be held at 5 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m., and at 7 p.m. Novena masses marked by the dancing of devotees in prayer and in thanksgiving were held from Nov. 14 to 22 at the church yard.
The highlight of the two-week celebration in honor of San Clemente is the Higantes Festival, a parade of giant effigies made of paper mache measuring 10 to 12 feet in height. Angono’s much awaited festival dates back to the late 1800s.
San Clemente was one of the Apostolic Fathers and author of the Letter to the Corinthians. Born in Rome, Italy, he lived during the time of Jesus Christ’s apostles and was ordained bishop by Saint Peter himself. He was elected as the fourth pope of the Roman Catholic Church in the year 91 and served as head of the Church until his martyrdom in the year 101.