Feast of Nueva Señora Peñafrancia
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Naga City celebrates the Feast of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, popularly known as the Peñafrancia Festival in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Patroness of the Bicol Region. The feast culminates every second Friday of September each year.
In 1712, a Spanish government official from Peñafrancia, Spain settled in Cavite with his family. His daughter fell ill and the only hope is for a miracle to happen. The family prayed steadfastly to the Madonna of Peñafrancia, soon after the daughter was healed. Because of the incident, the father vowed to build a chapel in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia at Naga City (where he is assigned).
The name Peñafrancia was coined from the area where the holy image was found. Peña de Francia, literally, is Rocky hill of France, where the Image of Our lady of Peñafrancia is believed to have been discovered by a hermit named Simon Vela. in Francia where pineapple plant grew abudantly. Today, the shrine of Peñafrancia stood in the very same place.
The feast day is preceded by a novena, nine days of prayer, in honor of the Virgin. Among the activities during the celebration are parades, pageants, street parties, singing contests, exhibits, concerts, and many more. The festival is known to be the largest Marian devotion in the country, signaled by a procession (called Traslacion) which transfers the centuries-old image of the Blessed Virgin Mary from its shrine at the Peñafrancia Basilica Minore to the 400-year old Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, where a nine-day novena is offered.
The festival reaches its climax on the third Saturday of September, during the fluvial parade down the Bicol River, where a raft (pagoda) bearing the Holy Image then brings it to the Basilica. Escorting the pagoda are canoes, other bamboo rafts and decorated motorboats. The colorful evening procession is lit by thousands of candles from devotees in boats escorting the image. When the barge reaches its destination, the devotees shout "Viva la Virgen" (Long live the Virgin!) where the image is returned shoulder-borne by so-called voyadores to the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia via the historic Bicol River. Voyadores are male devotees who are on barefoot with colorful headbands who share the burden of the Image’s carriage. The female devotees instead pray novenas and the rosary. Everyone is unmindful of the unprotected feet and the crush of tourists and pilgrims who wave their hankies to the Holy Images or hold candles and get down to their knees to murmur prayers.
More than a million devotees are expected to attend the annual celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Patroness of Bicolandia. "Renewing Our Faith through INA" is this year's theme of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Peñafrancia or "INA" as she is fondly called by her countless devotees.
Schedule of Activities for the 2009 celebration
September 2 – September 10, 2009
- 4:00 AM - Penitential Procession from Metro Naga Parishes to Penafrancia Basilica
- 5:30 AM - Novena Mass
- 4:30 PM - Confession
- 5:00 PM - Solemn Novenary Masses in honor of the Divino Rostro at the Basilica of Peñafrancia
September 11 Feast Day of the Divino Rostro
- 4:00 AM - Penitential Procession in honor of the Divino Rostro to Penafrancia Shrine
- 5:30 AM - Blessing of Plaze de Covarrubias / Pontifical Concelebrated Mass / Installation of members OLPA
- 8:00 AM - Mass / Traslacion Procession / confessions
- 12:30 PM - TRASLACION Mass at Penafrancia Shrine
- 1:30 – 4:30 PM - Confessions at the Minor Seminary arches
- 6:00 PM - Solemn Pontifical Concelebrated Mass
- 8:00 PM - Cultural Presentation of Schools at Plaza Quezon
September 11– 18
- 3:00 PM – Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches)
- 5:00 PM - Solemn Novenary Masses in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Naga Metropolitan Cathedral)
- 7:00 PM - Cultural Presentation of Schools (Plaza Quezon)
- 8:00 PM - Procession around the Cathedral
September 12 9:00 AM - 5:00 AM- Marian Youth Congress (Basilica/ Cathedral)
- 1:00 PM - Healing Mass (Immaculate Conception Parish)
- 10:00 PM - Perdon Procession (Naga Cathedral)
- 6:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass - Diocese of Virac
- 8:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass - Diocese of Libmanan
- 1:00 PM - Healing Mass (Peñafrancia Shrine)
- 10:00PM - Perdon Procession (Naga Cathedral)
- 6:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass - Diocese of Daet
- 1:00 PM - Healing Mass (Naga Cathedral)
- 10:00PM - Perdon Procession (Naga Cathedral)
- 3:30 AM - Penitential Procession (route: Naga West)
- 6:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass - Diocese of Sorsogon
- 8:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass - Diocese of Cabanatuan
- 1:00 PM - Healing Mass (Basilica)
- 1:00 PM – Dolot ki INA and Voyadores Festival (Centro to Cathedral)
- 6:30 PM - Union of Bicol Clergy Mass – (Cathedral Church)
- Clergy Night (NPS Covered Court)
- 3:30 AM - Penitential Procession
- 6:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass - Diocese of Masbate
- 10:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass Military Ordinariate
- 1:00 PM - Healing Mass – (San Francisco Church)
- 9:00 PM - Mass / Prayer Vigil (Adoracion Nocturna Filipina)
- 3:30 AM - Penitential Procession (route: Naga north)
- 6:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass – Archdiocese of Caceres
- 10:00 AM - Pontifical Concelebrated Mass – Diocese of Legazpi
- 3:00 PM - Grand Fluvial Procession
- 6:00 PM - Pontifical Celebrated Mass
- 4:00 AM - Community Masses at the Basilica Church
- 6:30 AM - Pontifical Mass (Basilica of Peñafrancia)
- 8:00 AM - Pontifical Mass – Archdiocese of Caceres
- 8:30 PM - Basilica Diamond Jubilee Pavilion at 5:00 AM –11:00 AM
- 9:30 AM - Pontifical Mass
- 11:00 AM - Pontifical Mass
- 6:00 PM - Mass for the Filipino-Chinese Community
- Viva la Virgen! Naga City's Official website
- Peñafrancia Festival
- Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Official Website