By Leslie Ann Aquino
After failing to join last year’s Grand Marian Procession, the image of the Our Lady of Lourdes was back in the annual event.
The Our Lady of Lourdes was one of the Marian images that was paraded in Intramuros, Manila, Sunday.
“Last year was the only time we were unable to participate but every year we are present,” a parish staff of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Quezon City said in an interview.
She also explained that the image in the procession was different from the one that will be canonically crowned in May next year.
“It’s different because this is a pilgrim image. The one that you see in the altar of the church is the one that will be canonically crowned,” she said.
It was last September when it was announced that Pope Francis has granted the canonical coronation to the more than century-old image of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The approval came nearly three months after Bishop Honesto Ongtioco requested for a canonical coronation of the 126-year-old image enthroned at the altar of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
According to a CBCP News post, a canonical coronation is a pious institutional act, wherein the pope designates a crown or stellar halo to be added to a Marian image under a specific devotional title in a particular diocese.
It is also the highest distinction the Church grants to an image.
Aside from the Our Lady of Lourdes, other popular Marian images in the procession are the Our Lady of Piat, Our Lady of La Naval, Our Lady of Hope to mention a few.
Organized by the Cofradia de la Immaculada Concepcion Foundation and the Intramuros Administration (IA), the procession is being done every first Sunday of December.
The event is a revival of the tradition that originated in Intramuros on December 8, 1619. Then a national celebration which ran for fifteen days, the event was launched at the Manila Cathedral.
IA and the Cofradia have organized the annual festivity since 1980, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) replicating the full-force military participation during the processions of old.