Augustinian Recollects celebrate 400 years of devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Philippines

The Augustinian Recollects have programmed a fluvial procession and a great pilgrimage for the celebration on May 4 of the centenary of the arrival of the image. It came from the hands of the Augustinian Recollect missionaries and is preserved in the Basilica of San Sebastian. Plenary indulgence, granted by the Holy See for this date, may be obtained

The Augustinian Recollects and the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Philippines will celebrate their great feast this Friday. Manila will commemorate the fourth centenary of the arrival of the ancient image to the island with a huge program of events that will center on the venerated image that will arrive from the hands of the Augustinian Recollect missionaries in 1618. The fluvial procession and the subsequent mass at Quirino Grandstand they will be the central acts of the festive day.

Being patroness of the sea,Our Lady of Mount Carmel will travel the waters of the islands from San Sebastian Church, where she is venerated, to Quirino Grandstand. It will be the fluvial procession that will begin at 5 a.m. and that it will culminate in the celebration of Holy Mass in the same place at 6.30 a.m. It will be chaired by Archbishop Romulo Geolina Valles, president of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines.

After the mass, Our Lady of Mount Carmel will undertake the return to San Sebastian Church in another of the historical moments of the day. The old image will travel Manila on a great pilgrimage from Quirino Grandstand. It is expected that thousands of faithful and devotees accompany the procession that will last almost two and a half hours. It will begin after the end of Holy Mass.

Upon arrival at the Basilica of San Sebastian, the sacred image will be exposed again to the devotion of the Filipinos, who will be able to venerate it closely. After the celebration of the Eucharist of thanksgiving at 6 p.m., Our Lady of Mount Carmel will be returned to her altar again.

The Holy See granted for 2018 the Jubilee Year, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the arrival of the Virgin to the Philippines. For this reason, a plenary indulgence can be obtained by participating in the procession or mass on May 4, or by going on a pilgrimage later to the Basilica of San Sebastian.

The Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Miguel Miró, has asked “to unite all of us our voices and our hearts to that of Mary” participating in the acts of May 4 in person or through prayer. For his part, the Prior provincial of St. Ezekiel Moreno, Dionisio Selma, has invited the whole Augustinian Recollect family to the great event. However, in a letter, he asked the children and the elderly not to come, given the massive confluence of people, and invited them to participate in the prayer vigil that will take place the night before.

This extraordinary pilgrimage will be repeated, as every year, on July 16, the feast of the Virgen del Carmen. Again, the image will go out in procession through the streets of Quiapo.

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400 years of devotion

The venerated image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel arrived in the Philippines on May 4, 1618. The Augustinian Recollect missionaries -first Catholic missionaries who came to the island- brought it with them from Mexico, where it had been donated by the Discalced Carmelite friars of the Monastery of San José as a symbol of brotherhood.

He began to have worship in the Church of San Juan Bautista de Bagumbayan, until in 1621 it was moved and enthroned to the church of San Sebastián. Since then, the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carme was growing, to the point that today hundreds of people carry with them the ‘brown scapular’ of the Virgin. In 1991 he was canonically crowned by Cardinal Sin, with the approval of Saint John Paul II.