Icon Visits Iloilo
by Angelo Verdeflor (Vocation/Parish Staff)
The devotees of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, from all walks of life and from around the city and neighboring provinces of Iloilo, flocked the St. Clement’s Church (Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish) during the visit of the OMPH Pilgrim Icon from Rome in August of this year. The OMPH Pilgrim Icon blessed by Pope Francis started her Asian pilgrimage in Iloilo.
The Devotees warmly welcomed the pilgrim Icon. There was a welcome motorcade from the Iloilo International Airport to the St. Clement’s Church. When the Icon arrived, there was a procession that brought the Pilgrim Icon to the Novena Golden Jubillee- an edifice built to honor the 50 years of the perpetual novena in the Philippines and in Asia that began in Iloilo After the procession, the novena and the rosary followed. After the said prayer service, the icon was then brought to the church for public veneration. Many devotees gather in front of the icon each day to have a personal glimpse, and to offering of their prayers and intention.
Everyday, I could see different people, devotees and visitors from different walks of life, young and old alike whose devotion to her was just so vivid right before my eyes. I could see how passionate and devoted they were to her as manifested by their actions. Some would go closer to the icon, wipe their handkerchiefs, kiss it, hug it, touch it with their hands and say a short but meditative prayer to her and then take a picture of it.