“When all human help fails, it is imperative that we not despair. For normally in this extreme situation, the divine help of Mary comes.”
May 12, 2013 Marikina celebrates the Feast of the city's titular patroness, Our Lady of the Abandoned enshrined at the heart of Marikina, Bayan. I've been in the shrine a lot of times already, participated in some of its events however I still don't know the story why Mary became known as the Lady of the Abandoned or Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados. So here goes:
According to the website of Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, Sta. Ana, Manila, "the first title given to this image of Mary was “Our Lady of the Innocents.” The devotion to Our Lady was linked with a most innocent, yet shunned, group of humans, known in that era as “the insane.” But the title was also applied to similar “unfortunates” seeking Our Lady’s protection: people despised, forsaken and abandoned by society—even prisoners condemned to the gallows. Although other titles were given to Mary, the one that eventually became permanent was “Our Lady of the Abandoned.”
From Wikipedia, "Legend tells, on 24 February, 1409, a Friday at the beginning of Lent, a priest called Father Joan Gilabert Jofré, was on his way from the convent on Mercy Square to St. Catherine's (Santa Catalina) church in Valencia to deliver a sermon. On the way, on Silverworks Street, (now Martin Mengod Street) he witnessed the lynching of a mentally ill man and intervened to save the man. In response to this event, he preached on the subject of care of the mentally ill and established a hospice for the mentally ill. A manuscript of Manuel Calvo dated 22 December, 1848, reads:
"In this city, one finds many very important pious and charitable works; however, there is one great need, and that is a hospital or a house where the innocent, the poor and the mad can be cared for. There are many such people wandering this city, suffering from cold and hunger because they cannot earn a living or ask for help. They sleep on the streets, starving and cold. Many wicked people, who do not have God in their hearts insult them, point at them when they are asleep, injure and kill them and rape innocent women. It also happens that some of those who are mad attack citizens on the streets. Everyone in Valencia knows this. It would be a very good thing, a very Holy work if Valencia were to build a house or a hospital where the innocent poor and the mad could be housed so that they would not be on the streets being hurt nor making trouble."
Ten people responded by building the hospital they called "El Hospital de Los Locos"  and on 1 June, 1410, Sancta Maria[clarification needed] officially opened the 'Hospital d'Innocents, Follcs i Orats' under the protection of the 'Virgin, dels Innocents', known by the people as 'Holy Nostra Dona Maria dels Innocents'.
The image hailed as "El feren els àngels"
Jofré and the brothers constructed an oratory (capitulet) in the hospital to house an image of 'our Lady of the Forsaken'. According to legend, three young men dressed as pilgrims arrived and offered to make an image of the Virgin within three days in exchange for their board. They were taken to a place known as "The Hermitage". After four days and without any sound emanating from within, the brothers forced the door and found the image of the Virgin Mary. The mysterious pilgrims had disappeared. Shortly after, a paralyzed and blind woman, who was the wife of one of the Brothers, was cured. The incident gave rise to the legend of "El feren els àngels" ("Made by the angels")."
Devotion to Our Lady of the Abandoned in the Philippines
A painting by Romulo Galicano depicting a procession in honor of the beloved image of Our Lady.
From Valencia, Spain to Manila, Philippines
Continuation of the story from the website of Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, Sta. Ana, Manila
The 300-year old image of Our Lady of the Abandoned enshrined in Sta. Ana, Manila
"The Church of Sta. Ana-- In the early 1700s, Father Vicente (I suppose the Parish Priest that time)went to Valencia, Spain. The friar had been very enamored of a famous image of Our Lady that had become a big spiritual attraction in Valencia. While Father Vicente was in Valencia, he decided to have a copy made of this image—venerated in Valencia with so much devotion—for Santa Ana Parish, which was in the process of being constructed near Manila. After reverently touching the copy to the original, the friar brought the new art piece with him to the Philippines in 1717. The image has been venerated in Santa Ana for almost 300 years. In time, the parish became known as Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, as it is today." The cornerstone of the present church was laid on September 12, 1720.
From Manila to Marikina
Our Lady of the Abandoned of Marikina City
Towards the close of the 1600's, a new church was ordered to be built in Marikina because the old visita can no longer accommodate the growing population (plus it gets flooded by the Makina river, which is not a surprise even today. I have seen the old visita and it stands near the river...I imagine how inconvenient the flooding could have been). On October 23, 1791 the church was consecrated by the Archdiocese of Manila for the Virgin's said title so that it could not be used for any secular purpose. In 1898, during the Philippine–American War the first image was burned together with the pertinent records on the devotion in Marikina. In 1902, a new image was created which is presently venerated in the parish.
A marching band exits the Shrine to spread the festive mood...
Our Lady of the Abandoned shaded by a canopy of Banderitas
On May 12th, the universal Catholic Church also celebrated the Feast of Jesus' Ascension. A carroza of the Ascension is parked near the entrance of the Shrine.
Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord, so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race is with you in your glory, may experience, as he promised, until the end of the world, his abiding presence among us. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
This is a new image, a very regal Sto. Nino now stands near the church main altar.
Marikina's Queen, Our Lady of the Abandoned ready for her procession...
Our Lady of the Abandoned, Marikina, 2013 carroza arrangement
Holy Virgin Mary, you are reigning in glory, with Jesus, your Son.
Remember us in our sadness. Look kindly on all who are suffering
or fighting against any difficulty.
Have pity on those who are separated from someone they love.
Have pity on the loneliness of our hearts.
Have pity on the weakness of our faith and love.
Have pity on those who are weeping, on those who are praying, on those who are fearful.
Holy Mother, please obtain for all of us hope and peace with justice.
O Immaculate Mary, Dear Mother, Consoler,
I take refuge in your most lovable Heart with all the trust of which I am capable.
You shall be the dearest object of my love and my veneration.
From you, the dispenser of heavenly treasures, I shall always seek peace in my troubles,
light in my doubts, defence in my dangers, help in my needs .
Be therefore, my refuge, my strength, my consolation O Mary Consoler.
At the hour of my death, graciously receive the last beats of my heart, and obtain for me a place in that heavenly country,
where as one, all hearts shall praise forever the adorable Heart of Jesus, with your most lovable Heart,
O Mary, my Mother, Consoler of the Afflicted, pray for us, who have recourse to you.
O Jesus, Divine Master, I thank and bless Your most merciful Heart for having given us Mary most holy as our Mother, Teacher and Queen. From the cross You placed us all in her hands. You gave her a great heart, much wisdom and immense power. May all mankind know her, pray for her! May all permit themselves to be led by her to You, the Savior of mankind! I placed myself in her hands, as You placed Yourself. With this Mother I want to live now, in the hour of my death, and for all eternity.
Replica of Our Lady of the Abandoned, the Callejera
Interestingly enough, I googled the meaning of callejera and it means street walker. I guess the Callejera gets its name because it is the image that is brought out of the Parish most of the time, visiting places and attending events; and not the original, miraculous image (for safety and practical reasons of course).