Friday, October 4, 2013


The Virgin of the Most Holy Rosary, the most important Marian image in the Philippines commisioned by Gov. Gen. Luis Perez Dasmarinas, is closely associated with the Dominicans as it was to them that the image was entrusted after its completion in 1593. It was later enshrined at the Sto. Domingo Church.

As such, the venerable image is honored with annual processions participated in by carrozas bearing the likenesses of Dominican saints made with ivory head and hands. The age of the ivory images has not yet been ascertained, but most seemed to be from the 19th century. The first images to be made were those of Sto. Domingo and San Pio Quinto.

Santo Domingo Guzman, from a noble family in Caleruega, Spain was first a priest, then a Canon Regular in the Cathedral Chapter at Osma, He went on to found the the Order of Preachers ("Dominicans") , approved by Pope Honorius III in 1216. His iconography includes a dog with flaming torch in its mouth, based on her mother's dream. His name has become a pun for "domini canis" (God's dog) and "Dominicanus", or a Dominican priest. He is also represented with  star on his forehead, a vision seen by a godmother during his baptism. A staff and a rosary are also his attributes, as a legend states that the Virgin personally gave him a rosary. He died in 1221 and was canonized by Pope Gregory IX in 1234.

San Pio Quinto was born in Bosco, Tortona, Piedmont, Italy, in 1504, and baptized as Michael Ghislieri. He joined the Dominicans and rose to become bishop, grand inquisitor, and cardinal. Elected pope in 1566, he zealously implemented the decrees of the Council of Trent. He had the rosary prayed throughout the battle against the Turks at Lepanto until these were defeated; he instituted the fiesta of our Lady of the Victories, later changed to the Rosary, on October 7. Died on May 1, 1572, at the Vatican, April 30. Beatified 1672, canonized 1712.

The image of San Vicente Ferrer is one of the original images to join the La Naval processions. It survived the war by being kept in a vault at the Sto. Domingo Church. Standing under 5 feet, its metal accessories--banner, book and aurelo, are of silver.  Valencia-born San Vicente Ferrer joined the Order of Preachers at age 17, and became known as an "Angel of Peace" during turbulent times in Europe. Hence, he is represented as a winged saint. He gained fame as a charismatic preacher, and was miraculously understood by many people of different nationalities who listened to his sermons despite speaking in his native language. Thousands of Jews and Moors in Spain were successfully converted this way. A trumpet is also an attribute, referring to his preaching of the coming of Judgment Day.

Other La Naval santos: San Lorenzo Ruiz, Beata Juana de Aza, Beata Margarita de Castelho, Santo Thomas Khuong, San Juan de Capillas, Santa Rosa de Lima, Santa Ines de Montepulciano, San Vicente de la paz, Santa Magdalena de Nagazaki, San Juan Macias, San Martin de Porres, Santa Rosa de Lima, Santa Catalina de Ricci,  San Juan de Colona, San Luis Beltran, San Antonio de Florencia, Santa Catalina de Siena, San Alberto Magno, Santa Ines de Montepulciano, San Raymundo de Penafort, San Jacinto de Polonia, San Pedro Martir, Santo Tomas de Aquino, Santa Margarita de Ungria and San Jose.

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