Hello and welcome! In this blog post, we shall be discussing about one of the most beautiful churches here in the Philippines: The Church of “Our Lady of Peace & Good-Voyage”.
History + Patron Saint:
In March 25, 1626, a galleon trading ship named El Almirante disembarked Acapulco, Mexico holding the freshly appointed Governor-General of the Spanish East Indies, Don Juan Niño de Tabora, who had brought with him the statue. In July 18, 1626 El Almirante arrived in Manila and the statue was transported to the San Ignacio Church of the Jesuits in Intramuros. In 1632, Governor Tabora died and as a result the Jesuits were given possession of the statue for the enshrinement in the church of Antipolo which was at the time being constructed in which is now the Barangay Santa Cruz. Nuestra Senora del Paz y Buen Viaje was then proclaimed as “Patroness of Galleons.” In 1641 to 1647, the statue had crossed the Pacific Ocean on the San Luis. In 1648 it was on the Encarnacion then on the San Diego in 1650, then on the San Javier in 1651, then in the San Jose from 1659 to 1661, and finally on the Nuestra de Pilar in 1746. In November 28, 1926, the statue of Nuestra Senora Dela Paz y Buen Viaje was canonically crowned by the Most Reverend Michael J. O’Doherty, Archbishop of Manila, at Luneta or Rizal Park, Manila which was presented by at least a hundred thousand people.
As for the patron saint, their identity is rather obvious. As evidenced by the name of the Church, the patron saint is Mother Mary (feast day on January 1). Mother Mary was the child of Saint Joachim and Anne. She was born in Jerusalem, on September 8. In Nazareth, the Archangel Gabriel visited her to announce that she would bear that in the future, would be named as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Joseph, thinking she had slept with another man, left her but came back when an angel appeared in his dream and convinced him to stay with Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. In the later parts of her life, she went to the Wedding of Canaan with Jesus, witnessing his act of turning water into wine. She later died as a widow, outliving both her husband, St. Joseph, & her son, Jesus. Many Catholics believe her to have risen to Heaven, & in the process, crowned as Queen of Heaven & the Universe, in accordance with the Mysteries of the Rosary.
Aside from the common description of the Saint as given above, we have a small section here dedicated to her good deeds. As you can probably tell from the picture, St. Mary was a loving and caring Mother, as she took care of Jesus. Mary was part of Jesus’ life in almost all events. She is also known to be our spiritual Mother, which is why we call her Mother Mary. She is also very concerned for us, as in some of of Mother Mary’s Apparitions, she gives a message for us to pray the rosary. It shows that she’s telling us to pray so we will be protected from the Devil.
Miscellaneous (Culture of Surroundings):
• Kapitanes at Kapitanas:
Every Holy Week, Antipolo City has a tradition wherein two pairs of young Antipoleños are chosen to lead the faithful in the activities during Holy Week.
• The Annual Walk for Peace:
It is held every 30th day of April as a prelude or the beginning of the Pilgrimage Season. A motorcade for the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage commences this religious event, starting from the Antipolo Cathedral to the Minor Basilica of Quiapo.
• Sumakah Festival:
This festival is celebrated every 1st of May. It is also organized to recognize the Black Nazarene that is being brought to Antipolo Cathedral.
• Pilgrimage Season:
Antipolo celebrates its Pilgrimage Season in the month of May. Millions of devotees and patrons visit the Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage for thanksgiving and reverence to the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin. The Pilgrimage Season is celebrated for 63 days with an hourly mass at the Antipolo Cathedral and different religious. It also has a complex closing ceremony, with a concelebrated High Mass held at 5 o’clock in the afternoon at the Antipolo Cathedral usually on the 1st Tuesday of July after 63 days from the 1st Tuesday of May. A grand procession is held after the High Mass and a grand fireworks display is showcased after the procession to formally end the Pilgrimage Season.
Altar View, along with another picture that shows a Wedding occurring inside the Church.