Iloilo celebrates 150 years of the finding of much-loved Marian icon

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Different paintings depicting the Mother of Perpetual Help are currently exhibited at Museo Iloilo in Iloilo City. The Redemptorists at St. Clement’s Church are leading the 150th celebration of the Marian devotion in Iloilo. (Tara Yap/mb)

(Iloilo City, june 20, 2016) – The Redemptorist religious congregation in Iloilo is joining the 150th year celebration of the Mother of Perpetual Help, which is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Roman Catholic Church as represented by a revered 15th Century Byzantine icon.

Fr. Ramon Fruto of the Redemptorist Order in Illoilo said the Mother of Perpetual Help is close to the hearts of the Ilonggos.

He pointed out that despite the discovery of the Marian image in Italy a century and a half ago, it is in the Philippines where the Mother of Perpetual Help, known by the byword, “Make Her Known to the Whole World,” is highly popular.

“They did not anticipate that the picture of the Mother of Perpetual Help would be best known in the Philippines,” Fr. Fruto said.

Fr. Fruto, who has the distinction of being the first Filipino Redemptorist priest, noted that the first novena mass in honor of the Mother of Perpetual Help was held at St. Clement’s Church in Iloilo City.

While novena masses in honor of the Mother of Perpetual Help are often associated with Baclaran Church in Manila, the practice actually started in Iloilo City on May 13, 1946.

In this, the 150th year anniversary of the much-beloved icon of the Blessed Mother of Jesus, Fr. Fruto hopes that the faith of Ilonggos and other Filipinos would be strengthened in their caring for their communities and the country.

Carlos Garcia, chairperson of St. Clement’s Liturgy and Worship Committee of the Parish Apostolic Council, said one of the activities in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the finding of the image of the Mother of Perpetual Help’s 150th anniversary is an art exhibit at the Museo Iloilo.

The exhibit, which opened last June 10, 2016, involves paintings and other works of art by Ilonggo artists depicting the Mother of Perpetual Help in an exhibit that opened last June 10, 2016.

Garcia added that the Photographic Society of Iloilo (PSI) also organized an exhibit for St. Clement’s Church recently.

(from Manila Bulletin, http://www.mb.com.ph/ june 18, 2016)

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