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Historical Background

History

posted Mar 18, 2011, 9:07 AM by birhen ng Antipolo

Historical Background
Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage
Birhen ng Antipolo

            The symbol of Filipino-American Catholic faith and devotion to the Blessed Mother,  the Oratory of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Birhen ng Antipolo), is now represented at the largest  Roman Catholic Church in the United States, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

            The Oratory which honors the sixteenth century devotion of Filipinos to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage was dedicated in June 7, 1997 by the late James Cardinal Hickey of the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Most Reverend Protacio Gungon, Bishop of Antipolo. The dedication marked the culmination of almost six years of efforts by the Filipino-American Catholic community in the United States to gain approval for the establishment of the Oratory and to raise the necessary funds for the construction.

            The architectural firm of Leo A Daly, in consultation with Filipino architects Bobby Manosa and Chelo Hofilena, designed the Oratory that is now located at the northeast corner of the Crypt Church.

            The 125-year old image of Birhen ng Antipolo enshrined at the Oratory is an exact replica of the original found at the Basilica of Antipolo in the Philippines. The statue was donated to the Filipino-American Catholic community here in the United States by the Mota sisters – Pacita and Socorro, of  Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines. The image is made of dark mahogany (the original at the Basilica of Antipolo is made of “Corazon de mesquite”, a kind of wood found only in Mexico during the early days that grows darker with the passing of time.). The image was pictured next to Pope John Paul II during the World Youth Day Congress in Manila in January 1995. It was the same image that graced the Philippine pavilion exhibits in Seville, Spain in 1991. The four-foot statue is clothed in a delicately handmade gown of gold and silver. The pedestal and enclosure holding the image shaped like the top of a ship’s bow gives a calming effect amidst the rough seas depicted by the blue mosaic background.

            On both sides of the Oratory are found two murals painted by the famous Blanco family of painters. “The Arrival” on the left side depicts the 1626 arrival in the Philippines of the Virgin’s image. The panel on the right side entitled “Evacuation” show the image being carried away by the Antipolo townsfolk to escape the Japanese destruction of the town in 1945. The inscription “Our Lady of Antipolo…..Philippines” at the pedestal, and the condensed Prayer to Our Lady on the two kneelers were recent additions to the Oratory.

            The latest addition to the Oratory is the History Designation Plaque located on the south side when facing the Oratory.

            Since its dedication in June 1997, the Oratory has become a favorite destination of Filipinos coming to the nation’s capital. A National Pilgrimage is held every year in response to the numerous requests of Filipino-American Catholics to promote devotion to the Blessed Mother.  In addition, a Monthly Devotional Mass is held on the last Saturday of each month for devotees of Our Lady of Antipolo. At her new home at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is a lasting symbol of the Filipino-American Catholic presence in the United States and of our continuing journey through life.

Designation Plaque

posted Mar 18, 2011, 8:58 AM by birhen ng Antipolo

The Oratory of Our Lady of Antipolo (Birhen ng Antipolo) honors the sixteenth century devotion of Filipinos to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. The Oratory was dedicated on June 7, 1997 by His Eminence, the late James Cardinal Hickey of the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Most Reverend Protacio Gungon, Bishop of Antipolo.

The 125-year old image of Birhen ng Antipolo enshrined at the Oratory is an exact replica of the original found at the Basilica of Antipolo in the Philippines. The four foot statue made of dark mahogany is clothed in a delicately handmade gown of gold and silver. The pedestal and enclosure holding the image, shaped like the top of a ship’s bow, gives the calming effect amidst the rough seas depicted by the blue mosaic background.

On both sides of the Oratory are two murals painted by the Blanco Family.   “The Arrival” on the left side depicts the 1626 arrival in the Philippines of the Virgin’s image. The panel on the right side entitled “Evacuation” shows the image being carried away by the Antipolo townsfolk to escape the Japanese destruction of the town in 1945.

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