Nuestra Señora de Guia: A Visit to Mudra

Nuestra Señora de Guia: A Visit to Mudra
The facade of the shrine. The church was granted Archdiocesan Shrine status in 2005 under former Archbishop of Manila Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales.

History has it that the oldest extent Marian image in the Philippines is the Our Lady of Guidance of Ermita, Manila (although recent studies led by Msgr. Sabino Vengco Jr., a professor of Mariology, debunks this notion and claim that the oldest Marian image is Nuestra Sra. de la Cotta, see his book entitled: Shaping the Filipino Marian Piety). Historical accounts narrates that on May 17, 1571, before the setting of the sun, Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi conquered Manila in accordance of the will of the king of Spain, Philip II. It was on the riverbank of Pasig that Spaniards chanced upon a group of natives gathered around a small wooden image of a beautiful woman placed on the top of the trunk of pandan palm-tree. Strange as it was for the Spaniards to discover that heathens worship Mary. However, they considered it as a miracle and a great sign of their conquest of Manila, that they are being guided by the Mother of God. The story goes on and there are different accounts that can support such narration. To cut the long story short, devotions to Mary as Our Lady of Guidance spread throughout Manila and nearby provinces.

A group of animist-Tantrist natives in what is now Ermita along the eastern shores of Manila Bay worshiping a statue of a female figure (later identified as the Virgin Mary). Local folklore meanwhile recounts the Spaniards witnessing natives venerating the statue, which was placed on a trunk surrounded by pandan plants.

Probably, I was the happiest person that moment when I saw the talked-about and controversial image of Mary of Ermita. We stayed there for four days from June 29-July 1, 2017; thanks to the generosity of the archdiocesan shrine rector and company. We had our daily Eucharistic celebration there at 6:30am, praying for graces which we need as we journey through this world. Starring at the old image of Mary was a foretaste of heaven. I was in deep silence and in awe as I pray to her; asking her to bring me close to her son Jesus- as St. Louis de Monfort would say: “to Jesus through Mary.” Many of my protestant friends would argue that I should directly go to Jesus. I know where they are coming from and I think their argument is also valid. However, how would it be nice to approach the one who bore, nourished, guided and taught him- the Mother. We know from our human experience that our mothers know us more than other persons; hence, if I am interested to know something about other person, the reliable and valid person to go to is his/her mother.

The ceiling of the Shrine of Nstra. Sra. de Guia, Manila depicting the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary.

Indeed, it was a grace-filled experience to pay homage to the Mudra of Jesus, and our Mudra too. I know this will not be the first and last visit to her, see you again O Mudra!






Holy Mass Schedule

Monday to Friday- 6:30 am | 7:15 am | 8:00 am | 12:15 pm | 6:00 pm

Saturday- 7:00 am | 8:00 am | 12:15 pm | 6:00 pm (Anticipated Mas)

First Saturday of the Month- 6:00 am* | 8:00 am | 12:15 pm | 6:00 pm (Anticipated Mass)

Sunday- 7:00 am | 8:00 am | 9:00 am | 10:00 am | 11:00 am | 12:00 pm | 5:00 pm | 6:00 pm | 7:00pm

* Dawn Procession at 4:30 am


-Fiel Pareja, MPM

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