By Adrian Bria, sx –
“Ang puso ko’y nagpupuri,
nagpupuri sa Panginoon,
Nagagalak ang aking espiritu
Sa ‘king Tagapagligtas.”
“My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.”
That is the best expression to describe the feelings of the people of God in Marikina on the occasion of the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish 2013. The feelings of glorifying and rejoicing the Lord, our Savior were manifested through some events namely Seminar on Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tour de Guadalupe (Marathon), Nine Days Novena, Fiesta, Procession, and finally, on the Our Lady of Guadalupe Day, there was the Awit Pasasalamat Kay Maria which culminated with the high Mass presided by Fr. Javier Ferrer Mexicano, SX, our parish priest.
The Seminar on Our lady of Guadalupe was conducted by Fr. Emanuele Borelli, SX on Tuesday November 19, 2013. There were two basic topics that he presented: the first one was about the history of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The eagerness and enthusiasm of the people to know about the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe were clearly seen through the many questions that they asked. Moreover, the second topic was about the meaning of the symbols on the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Interesting enough that Fr. Emanuele explained about the meaning of the symbols one by one like Sun rays, four-retalled Flower, her face, her eyes, her mantle, the flower, band (ribbon) and so on. Indeed, the most significant and contextual symbol was the black Ribbon. Fr. Emanuele emphasized that the ribbon tied in a knot signifies that she is a noblewoman with child. A noble indigenous women tied a black ribbon just above their waist to show they were pregnant. This symbol confirms her message to St. Diego that ‘I am the Always Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God.’ From that symbol, he underlined that Mother Mary of Guadalupe who carries Jesus in her womb unites us and brings us to her Son Jesus Christ.
The experience of rejoicing in the Lord continued with the Tour de Guadalupe (Marathon) on Saturday, November 30, 2013. Parishioners from all the chapels participated on this occasion. It started at 5:30 am in Black Nazareno (Purok 7) and ended at Our Lady of Grace (Bulelak) Chapel. There were three categories namely: boys and girls of 12 – 20 years old, young adults of 21 – 35 years old and fully adults of 36 – 100 years old. It was a moment of grace and unity desired by our Lady of Guadalupe who wants us to be one single family. All, young and old, boys and and girls, mga lolo at mga lola, bata at matanda, gathered together to run. It was not only running itself, but it was the manifestation of faith which can be expressed in the latin words Mens sana in corpore sano.
“Ang puso ko’y nagpupuri, nagpupuri sa Panginoon, Nagagalak ang aking espiritu, Sa ‘king Tagapagligtas.” That was the refrain that the people of God in Marikina sang for nine days. The novena started on Tuesday, November 3 and went until Wednesday December 11, 2013 in Our Lady of Grace (Bulelak) Chapel. The Novena always preceded the Novena Mass at 6:30 pm presided by different priests, Fr. Mex, Fr. Henry, Fr. Emanuele and two other visiting priests: Fr. Alejandro Rodriguez and Fr. Luisito. The Novena itself was the revelation of people’s experience of faith. It was the joyful experience of seeing all the people from different chapels gather together in Our Lady of Grace Chapel in prayer. It was an expression of faith because they came to the main chapel by walking from the various distant areas. One day, a woman from Singkamas Kanan (one of the Muslim areas of our Parish which I go for bible sharing every Tuesday at 3. p.m), said “Broder, kahit na, masakit ang tuhod ko, gustong gusto ko pumunta sa nobena. Kapag naglalakad ako papuntang Bulelak, wala na ang sakit sa tuhod ko.” (“Brother, even if there is pain in my knee, I like very much to go to the novena. When I walk towards Bulelak Chapel, the pain in my knees disappear.”) For me, as a young missionary, it was a grace to listen to their sharing. It was the grace of rejoicing and glorifying the Lord, our savior. It was a himala (A Miracle) which was the same experience of St. Juan Diego who had to go to the Mass in a distant place. Moreover, I could express my experience by praying together during the nine days of novena, “Every time I listened to the song ‘Ang Puso ko’y nagpupuri’, I wanted to cry. It is not a crying of sadness, but it is the crying of Joy. It is the joy of the innermost part of my heart which comes from God my father. It is the Joy of experiencing the faith of the people God in Marikina. Therefore, together with them I pray: ‘Birhen ng Guadalupe, Ina ng Buhay, ipanalangin mo kami.’( Our lady of Guadalupe, the Mother of Life, Pray for us.”)
The experience of glorifying and rejoicing the Lord was continued by celebrating the Fiesta Day on Saturday December 7, 2013. It was not only something to pray but also something to celebrate. The Fiesta Day started with the celebrating of the Mass at 10:00 am in Our Lady of Grace Chapel which was presided by Fr. Mex, with Fr. Henry and Fr. Emanuele as concelebrants. From the chapel, the celebration continued with some programs and salu-salo (eating together) in Bulelak covered court. There were some presentations of cultural dances from different areas and also the distribution of prizes to the winners of the Tour de Guadalupe Marathon. It was a meaningful moment when the priests and people of God eating together in same place. It was like Jesus and the disciples eating together during the Last Supper. It was a sharing of food offered by all the people from different chapels and areas. However, the most important was not about the eating itself but the sense of unity as the family of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. While eating, people enjoyed the cultural dances which enhanced the joy.
Listening, running, praying, celebrating and announcing. These are the words that describe all the events in order to celebrate the feast day 2013 of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. After listening to the seminar of Our Lady of Guadalupe, running together during the Tour de Guadalupe Marathon, praying together during nine days novena, finally it was the moment to announce the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ through Our Lady of Guadalupe. The procession of Sunday December 8, 2013, was a privileged moment of proclamation. People prayed the rosary and sang “Hail Mary,” walking together with Our Lady who carries Jesus in her womb, from one place as if proclaiming that our Lord Jesus Christ is here. The people repeated unceasingly “Mahal na Birhen ng Guadalupe, patrona ng buhay, kaibig-ibig na anak ng Diyos Ama, kalinis-linisang ina ng Diyos Anak at kabanal-banalang esposa ng Diyos espiritu Santo, Ipanalangin mo kami” “The beloved our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of life, the beloved Child of God, the immaculate Mother of God and the Holy spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.” As we end all the festivities we can say together with people of God in Marikina “Ang puso ko’y nagpupuri, nagpupuri sa Panginoon, Nagagalak ang aking espiritu Sa ‘king Tagapagligtas.” From this moment of glorifying and rejoicing, we move now to proclaiming the Good News to all over the world.
Viva Birhen ng Guadalupe!!!
Happy Fiesta 2013!!!