Marian image in Edsa revolt honored with ‘canonical crown’

February 27, 2024 - 1:03 PM
Our Lady of Fatima
Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, leads the canonical coronation of the national pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City on Feb. 25, 2024. (Screenshot from NSOLF video via CBCP News)

A pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima, which has been an iconic symbol of the 1986 peaceful revolution, was formally honored with pontifical coronation on February 25, the 38th anniversary of the popular uprising.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela City was filled with devotees on Sunday to witness the image’s historic canonical coronation, with several bishops in attendance.

During the coronation rite, a Mass was celebrated by papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, who praised the Filipinos devotion to the Blessed Mother.

“Truly the Filipinos are Pueblo Amante de Maria, a people that loves Mary. We see that here in Valenzuela,” Brown said.

In his homily, Bishop Dennis Villarojo of the Malolos diocese stressed that the coronation is Pope Francis’ recognition of the image’s significance in the life and faith of the people who venerate it.

“Some images are venerated because miracles are attributed to them. But we don’t attribute a miracle to this image. Instead, this national pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima is a witness to a miracle,” he said.

“What miracle? We need to be reminded, lest we forget from February 22 to 25, 1986, our people rose to reclaim their freedom and dignity without the use of violence and shedding of blood.”

“During those days, Our Lady was present through this image not as a standard of battle but as a symbol of peace; not as talisman for good fortune, but as a plea for justice,” he said.

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He emphasized that Edsa did not promise anything but was instead a fulfillment of Mary’s promise of peace after the Filipinos “prayed, made reparations and consecrated their hearts (to Mary)”.

But the bishop was quick to point out that the Edsa revolution was not a victory for one party and the defeat of another but “a particular instance of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.

“Our Lady at Fatima gave us the formula for peace: prayer, penance, consecration and reparation,” Villarojo said.

“Prayer because it is our God who guides our feet into the way of peace. Penance because sin is the hindrance to peace. Consecration because our hearts need to be renewed. And reparation because justice is attained by repairing not by dismantling or demolishing,” he added.

Among those present was Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila, who led the congregation in praying the “Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.

A canonical coronation is a special act designated by the pope where he allows the crowning of a Marian image. The crowning symbolizes the image’s special significance to the universal Church.

To be granted with such Vatican recognition, a Marian image with a specific title must meet at least three conditions: antiquity, acclaimed by the faithful, and serving faith and hope in times of need.