The novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Divino Amor, Lipa City, Philippines, turns 75 come 2022. Divino Amor Church is served by the Redemptorists in the Vice-Province of Manila.
Last June 23, 2021, marked the opening of the yearlong commemoration of the 75th year since the first novena in Divino Amor Church on June 23, 1947. With the theme “Mga Taon ng Walang Hanggang Saklolo: Pag-alaala at Pagdiriwang sa Ika-75 Taon ng Misyon at Debosyon sa Ina ng Laging Saklolo sa Timog Katagalugan” (Years of Perpetual Help: Commemoration and Celebration of the 75th Year of the Mission and Devotion to our Mother of Perpetual Help in Southern Tagalog). The launching took place on the 6th day of the nine-day novena-mass before the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help on June 27. The Vice-Provincial Superior of the VP-Manila, Rev. Fr. Victorino Cueto, CSsR, announced the beginning of the commemoration and led the unveiling of the logo of the Diamond Jubilee celebration. Various activities both in the mission and the community’s social mission apostolate are expected to be held to highlight the role the Loving Mother had in the lives of the many devotees whose prayers and intentions were heard by the Lord through her intercession. It will also be a special year when the Redemptorist Lipa Community’s program and services will be more ever attuned to being a medium where God’s love, mercy and compassion to the most abandoned generously flows.
History tells us that the first novena in Divino Amor on June 23, 1947, was held on a Saturday and that only a few people attended it. Years gone by, and the popularity of the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help eventually grew, and the novena was transferred later to Wednesday. Decades later, the Divino Amor Church had to be renovated to accommodate increasing numbers of devotees. Even the number of novena schedules on Wednesdays had to be increased so that people from all walks of life can be with Our Mother on the schedule that best suits them. Before the pandemic, we have six novena sessions on Wednesday. As of this time, we, little by little, are trying to bring the schedule back as close as possible to its original schedules.
Increasing numbers of letters of petitions and thanksgiving continue to give witness to the special place of the Loving Mother in the hearts of the people who turn to her in times of troubles and need. More people seek her intercession now that the country remains to experience the ill impact of the covid-19 virus. Times are hard, and more people turn to God through Mary to seek help and find hope. The petitions are not only for themselves alone but also for the good of others.
There are indeed many good reasons to celebrate the coming 75 years of the people’s devotion to Mary and the Redemptorist mission to make her known in the Southern Tagalog region of the Philippines. Loving Mother, pray for us!
Redemptorist Lipa Community,
Photos by Fr. Ariel Lubi, CSsR and Brennan Remiendo