Saturday, August 13, 2016

262. Santo Stories: SAN PATRICIO: Lola Taring’s Namesake Santo

PATRICIA'S SAN PATRICIO. Lola Taring’s namesake santo, as he appears today, a gift from a kind priest on her birthday. Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is rarely seen as a religious statue in the Philippines. On his March 17 feast day, people celebrate by wearing green, a color traditionally assigned to him.

In the picturesque town of Lucban, Quezon, Patricia Villa (b. 1914/d. 2008), was known in her younger days as a pioneer catechist who taught catechism in the town’s public schools for free.

But she is also known as the owner of an old wooden santo, remarkable in that, it is almost never seen in household altars for personal devotion.

 Lola Taring, as she is called by her “apos”, owned a 15 inch image of San Patricio de Irlanda (St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland) that she treasured and kept in her lifetime. How it came to be in her possession stems from a simple act of generosity from a visitor priest who once visited Lucban.

The daughter of Leocadio Villa and Feliza Venzuela, Taring practically grew
up in Lucban. As she was born on the feast day of San Patricio—17 March 1914-- she was named Patricia. Her parents made her aware of this coincidence, and Taring developed a devotion to her namesake saint.

Early on, Taring displayed extraordinary piety, and was known to attend the daily 6 a.m. mass without fail. She received her informal education from the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a local religious congregation for women founded by the servant of God Alfredo Maria Obviar, the first residential bishop of our Diocese.

 On her 13th birthday in 1928, she had a special visitor in the person a certain Rev. Fr. Caparas, from Cabuyao. Fr. Caparas’ godmother happened to be Taring’s cousin, Remedios Deveza (who herself, owned a Virgen de los Remedios, featured in a past article on this blog).

The good father came with a special birthday surprise which he presented to the new teenager—a painted baticuling image of San Patricio, the celebrated bishop of Ireland, in his traditional green vestments, wearing a mitre and holding a brass staff. The santo is represented crushing a few snakes underfoot. The figure stands on a peaña on which is inscribed the date of presentation to you Taring. The image was said to have been bought in Manila.

For most her young life, Taring treasured the image of San Patricio, and druing the dark days of World War II, the santo was the only possession that she carried while Lucbanins fled the town that was about to be overrun by Japanese forces.

 Surviving the war, the image was restored by one of the shops of Maximo Vicente after the liberation in 1945. Unwittingly, the encarnador—who was not familiar with the Irish saint and its iconography—painted the vestments yellow.

 Taring lost both her parents early; she also never married, and although she had a house in Lucban, she stayed with the Rañola Family, whose daughter, Luz, was a close family friend and a kindred spirit, and who, like her, was also a soltera. The Rañola Family, by the way, owned the magnificent Santo Entierro in Lucban.

In her golden years, Lola Taring lived the rest of her life in Lucban, attending to church duties as a Lourdesian. She passed away at the ripe old age of 94 on 25 October 2008. The image of San Patricio was left in the care of a grand nephew, Jayson Maceo, who had lived with her and had been doted since he was a toddler.

In July 2016, the image of San Patricio was re-painted by artist Kiko Aguilar and regained his original green vestments, based on an estampita. The snakes at the foot of San Patricio are now missing. It is now under the care of the Maceo family, where it has been encased in a protective virina.

 Surely, Lola Taring is smiling down on her descendants who continue to cherish and love her namesake santo—the least they could do to honor her life and her memory.

 (Many thanks to Mr. Jayson Maceo for providing the details of this story, as well as the photos to accompany the article)

1 comment:

  1. If tama po ako mag kapatid na pari po yan si Padre Balbino at Padre Anastacio Padre Anastacio is sa quezon na assigned at si padre balbino sa laguna