Marian devotees will celebrate tomorrow, October 11, the much-awaited feast of Nuestra Señora Santissimo Rosario (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary), La Naval de Manila.
Because of the pandemic, this year’s feast will be observed differently unlike in the past years.
Since church attendees at the Santo Domingo Church (National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary) on Quezon Avenue in Quezon City will be limited under current quarantine protocols, the faithful are encouraged to join the masses online via La Naval de Manila’s official Facebook page.
The feast mass tomorrow will be celebrated at 4 p.m. This year’s theme is “Maria, Ina ng Pag-Asa, Kagalingan at Pagkakaisa.”
Enthronement rites for the revered image was held last October 1 at 5 p.m. Novena masses that were preceded by the praying of the holy rosary were held from October 2 to 10.
Feast rites in honor of La Naval will also be observed in Fort San Felipe in Cavite City, as well as in other towns and parishes placed under her patronage.
The first celebration of the Feast of La Naval de Manila was held on Oct. 8, 1646 in Intramuros, Manila, to mark the naval victory of the Spanish and Filipino Catholic forces against the invading Dutch fleet. Reminiscent of the victory of the greatly outnumbered Christian naval forces against the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, which was attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Mother, the joint Spanish and Filipino forces, upon the advice of the Dominican friars, prayed the Holy Rosary before each encounter with the invading forces between March 15 and Oct. 4. Finally, the Dutch fleet gave up and left the country.
In thanksgiving to God and the Holy Mother for the victory, Spanish church leaders initiated the celebration of the first Feast of La Naval de Manila, which has since been annually marked with holy masses and a grand procession of the sacred image.