Albay diocese prohibits use of Marian title, ‘Inang Salvacion’

December 8, 2022 - 11:11 AM
Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi celebrates Mass at the Our Lady of Salvation Parish and Diocesan Shrine in Tiwi, Albay on Aug. 20, 2022. (OLSPDS/Facebook)

A Catholic diocese in the Bicol region, south of the Philippine capital, is discouraging the use of the title “Inang Salvacion” in reference to its diocesan patroness, Nuestra Señora de Salvacion.

“This shortened title is theologically problematic, for this Bicol term does not translate as ‘Mother of Salvation’ but as ‘Mother who is Salvation’, Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi said in a circular issued Dec. 1.

The diocese made the call amid observations of a “growing use” of the title among devotees, “perhaps as a term of endearment or just to shorten the lengthy formal title”.

The diocese explained that the Blessed Virgin Mary “is not our salvation, but our devotion to her leads us closer to her Son”.

“Our Savior, our salvation is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Blessed Virgin Mary is our Mother of Salvation because she is the Mother of Christ,” Baylon said.

“So let us not allow our popular devotion to distract us from the proper worship of her Son,” the bishop added.

At the same time, the diocese noted that the devotion to Nuestra Señora de Salvacion, whose centuries-old image is enshrined at a diocesan shrine in Tiwi town’s Joroan village, “is not only going strong but also growing”.

In 2026, the diocese will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the canonical coronation of the image and the 250th year of the devotion to the Blessed Mother under the same title.