Sunday, July 31, 2011

74. RETRO-SANTO: Ntra. Sñra. Virgen de la Regla

In the parish of Opon (now Lapu-Lapu City) , Cebu resides the venerated image of the Virgin bearing the title, Ntra. Sñra Virgen de la Regla (Our Lady of the Rule). This devotion started with St. Augustine, who hand-carved a statue of Mary that was brought to Spain upon the destruction of the city of Hippo. Here, the image wrought miracles and was reputed to have prevented the pillage of the country by the Moors.

The location of the image was lost, however, until an Augustinian monk went to Cadiz upon instruction from the Virgin who appeared to him in a dream in 1330. He found the image in an underground part of the cave. The devotion soon spread to Spanish colonies and in the 18th century, the Augustinians introduced Filipinos to Our Lady of the Rule.

In 1735, the parish priest of Opon, P. Francisco Avalle showed the people a picture of the Virgin, which was received favorably. An image was soon carved from the trunk of a Philippine hardwood, giving the icon a swarthy complexion. Our Lady was enshrined in the main altar of the Church of Ntra. Sñra Virgen de la Regla which was under the ministry of the Augustinians from 1730-1929, to be replaced by the Dutch immediately after.

Also in the church is a cloth relic of the Blessed Virgin, given in 1909 by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, P. Ambrosio Agius. Reports of miracles attributed to the Virgin abound—from the healing of a barren and paralytic women to cures of abdominal and blood disorders, as in the case of Lauron Cruz who was instantly healed of his blood disease upon lighting candles before the image in 1735.

The image of Ntra. Sñra Virgen de la Regla was canonically crowned on 27 November 1954 during the First Marian Congress.

No comments:

Post a Comment