Virgen de los Remedios de Pampanga
Virgin of Remedies
Patroness of Pampanga
The canonically crowned image presently enshrined in the Chancery of San Fernando.
|Virgin of Remedies, Queen of Pampanga|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Feast||September 8, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Attributes||The Blessed Virgin Mary encrusted with jewels, golden crown, aureole and moon.|
|Patronage||Pampanga, Kapampangan people|
|Controversy||Suppression of Communism|
Under this particular title, Mary is officially designated as the Patroness of Pampanga and was granted its official title and given a Canonical Coronation by Pope Pius XII through a Papal Bull dated 15 July 1956. The liturgical feast of the title is every 8 September, which is the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.
The paired devotion alongside with a crucifix called Santo Cristo del Perdón is highlighted in a prayer apostolate known as Crusaders for Penance and Charity, a prayer group started by women which focused on Catholic social justice for the poor and the destitute, and was originally founded to combat Communism.
In the 1950s after the Second World War, the province of Pampanga was plagued with Communism which threatened both the Catholic religion and social order in the Philippines. The lower and the middle class laity conflicted with wealthy landowners, which caused much political unrest in the region.
César María Guerrero, the first Bishop of San Fernando, decided to revive the Marian devotion (introduced to Manila and Pampanga in 1574 by the Spanish) in an attempt to ease tensions. Guerrero was a native of Malate, Manila where the local church enshrined a similar image of Our Lady of Remedies.
Bishop Guerrero requested the image of the Virgen de los Remedios, already venerated as Our Lady of Remedies from Baliti, Pampanga to be borrowed by San Fernando to help with a new apostolate working towards peace and reconciliation, called Cruzada de Caridad y Penitencia (Crusade of Penance and Charity). Great piety and monetary donations were garnered primarily due to the wealthy noblewomen and widows who contributed into the religious group, along with the consistent religious processions and recitations of Rosary which made the devotion popular among the masses. A system of bylaws for the apostolate was created, making the group more organized and official which helped it to grow and increased ecclesiastical recognition.
By 1954, the people of Baliti, Pampanga became adamant in requesting that their image be returned to their town. As a result, Bishop Guerrero commissioned the santero artist Victoriano Siongco to carve out a larger image of the Immaculate Conception for the official use of the Crusade, and the Baliti image was returned to its original parish.
On 11 February 1956, Bishop Guerrero submitted a petition to Cardinal Federico Tedeschini, who at the time was the Apostolic Dataria to Pope Pius XII requesting to grant a canonical coronation. On 15 July 1956, Pope Pius XII issued the pontifical decree on the Canonical Coronation of the image which occurred on 8 September 1956, the same day of its current feast.
Feast and veneration
The Feast of Virgen de los Remedios of Pampanga is celebrated each 8 September, the Nativity of Mary. In the United States, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, California crowns a replica of the image each year at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
In 2010, Capampangans in the Bay Area also started with an annual re-enactment of the Canonical Coronation. The initial coronation was held at the Our Lady of Peace Shrine in Santa Clara, California. Since then, the event rotates through the Diocese of San Jose, Diocese of Oakland and the Archdiocese of San Francisco and is held every 2nd Sunday of November.