The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is important in the Philippines, the whole country has been dedicated to Mary under this title, thus aside from celebrating one of the greatest dogmas of the church about Mary (if not the greatest)we celebrate the country's strong Catholic faith and love for Mary, Mother of God.
What is the Immaculate Conception
Fr. William Most summarized the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception as, "In teaching that Mary was conceived immaculate, the Catholic Church teaches that from the very moment of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from all stain of original sin. This simply means that from the beginning, she was in a state of grace, sharing in God's own life, and that she was free from the sinful inclinations which have beset human nature after the fall."
From Intramuros to Marikina
The Immaculate Conception is patron of a lot of Towns, of Parishes across the country. It's no surprise that a lot of procession is being held in Mary's honor all at the same time in each of these towns and parishes. A few days ago, in Intramuros the 32nd Grand Marian Procession was held (see Part 1, Part 2), now on the actual day of the Feast, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Marikina holds a procession as well, part of the annual "Alay kay Maria" activity.
The image of San Jose leading the procession
Lady in Blue
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Penafrancia
Our Lady of Manaog
Del Rosario images...
Our Lady of Sorrows
More Marian Images, solitary or carrying Jesus
More Marian Images, solitary
From birth to her assumption
Assumption and Our Lady of the Baranggay
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal being blessed by the Parish Priest
The Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is a medal created by Saint Catherine Labouré following a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many Catholic Christians around the world (and some non-Catholics) wear the Miraculous Medal, which they believe will bring them special graces through the intercession of Mary if worn with faith and devotion at the hour of death. It is often worn together with the Brown Scapular. Such items of devotion are not charms and should not be construed as being either "magical" or superstitious (two conditions which are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church) but serve as constant physical reminders of devotion.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, OLA
Our Lady of Antipolo atop a carroza decorated in beautifully crafted paper flowers
Our Lady of Antipolo exiting OLA
Everything made of paper...
Other Marian images in attendance...
Sponsors for this year's festivities...
The Immaculate Conception
It's my first to see the image of Our Lady of the Abandoned at the end of the procession, usually reserved for the Festejada (which is the Immaculate Conception). The image looked resplendent wearing her fully embroidered garments on top of an antique Silver carroza bought from a family in Pampanga.
Exiting the Plaza
Wait, there's more...
The procession started on time, which is not the usual case for processions in Marikina, I guess because of the impending rain (well it did rain after the image of OLA exited the church)...a carroza waiting for the procession to pass