Monday, July 22, 2019

332. Santo Stories: STA. VERONICA of SAN MATEO, RIZAL

San Mateo, Rizal has perhaps, one of the most organized Lenten processions in the region, with a little over 20 santos participating, a mix of the old and new. The oldest image is believed to be that of the STA. VERONICA, the woman who wiped Jesus’s face with a towel that cause His likeness to be imprinted on the cloth.
STA. VERONICA, Holy Tuesday, 2016
The processional image was originally owned by couple Victoriano (Maestro Bito) and Andrea Santos. The image, which had been carved in Pangil, Laguna in the 1800s, and which had participated in the early processions there, was brought to San Mateo in the 1930s, as Bito’s  wife hailed from there. Their STA. VERONICA has since been a regular participant in the annual Lenten rituals in the historic town.
STA. VERONICA, April 2019
When the Santos couple passed away, the image of STA. VERONICA was left in the care of their daughter, Mrs. Rosita Santos-Manahan. When, in her old age, she found it difficult to tend to the image, she passed it on to her only child, Tessa Jasminez-Manahan, who, with her family, has been caring for the antique image ever since.
The processional image shows the santa with a roundish, almost glum face. The sudarium that she holds unfolded with both hands, and which bears the painted impressions of the 3 Holy Faces, has been periodically changed.
TESSA JAZMINES, current caretaker, in glasses
All other original accessories, are still intact and complete, from her jewel-encrusted corona and paragua, brass appliques, right down to her beautiful, silver paneled carroza. Preparing her has become both a family and a community affair, a responsibility that daughter Tessa has come to love and embrace.
Tessa Jazmines FP Page
Debosyon at Kasaysayan: Ang Mahal na Araw sa Bayan ng San Mateo, Parokya ng Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu. Souvenir program, 2001.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

331. THE WEEPING LADY OF AMORSECO, San Fernando, Pampanga


The persistent belief that images of Jesus, saints and particularly, the Virgin Mary might become animated and imbued with the power of movement has been espoused since since the olden times. This is also true for some non-Christian figural statues.

Sightings of weeping, blinking and moving statues of the Virgin have been reported in such places as Vietnam, Ballin-spittle, County Cork, Akita in Japan, and of course, in the Philippines, attracting wide interest from zealous devotees. For example,  the ancient image of the Apo Caridad of Ilocos has also been reported as having been found sometimes with amorseco burs stuck to the lower hem of the dress—a proof, devotees say, that the revered Marian image went out unseen for walks.
AMORSECO mysteriously covers the Virgin's face.

In a small subdivision school in San Fernando, Pampanga, small image of the Blessed Virgin has been similarly creating a stir in the region since unexplained things began happening in early October of 1987.  The sacred image, not even a foot tall, was acquired a month earlier by dry goods dealer Lhoree Lee from Mrs. Rosalio C. Toledano, who had trade it to Lee in exchange for fabrics.

Strange events attended the transfer of the image to the Lee residence like the smell of roses and candles that permeated the place, which the family first dismissed. But on October 9, amorseco (cogon flowers) burs began appearing and sticking on the hair of the image, increasing in coverage every day to include the whole face and our Lady’s vestment.

On October 13, the tiny statue began to weep. Lee, believing that these were divine signs, consulted with then Archbishop Oscar Cruz on    what to do. Meanwhile, people started coming in droves to see the Virgin—now known as Our Lady of Amorseco.

The Virgin then began to send messages through the school caretaker, Romeo G. Pabustan, who has since become her medium. Portent of her arrival is the scent of flowers that permeates the chapel where it is kept. During these times, Pabustan goes under a trance and begins writing our Lady’s messages and calls for prayer.

The miraculous image is enshrined at Our Lady of Amorseco House of Prayer which has drawn thousands of visitors, including media personalities, showbiz people,  church leaders, government officials and high society VIPs. It is also a center for outreach programs and many religious crusades.

”Maria, Sumulung Ca”Crusade. 20th Year Anniversary of Our Lady of Amorseco. Souvenir program October 9, 1987-October 9, 2007.
flickr photo" Dexter Ian Mallari,Harry Bernardino,