Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani

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Patron-Saints of the Philippines
Name: Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani
Description: The Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani conveyed by Blessed Virgin May
Shrine: Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani was in Bataan
Feast day: 2nd sunday of October

Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani was the title given to Our Blessed Virgin Mary by the townpeople of Samal who were witnessed to her miracles and led to the establishment of the town and parish of Orani.



The Spanish-Dominican priests were assigned in Abucay, Bataan to start spreading the Catholic faith. They were able to establish the parish of Samal and brought the image of Our Lady of the Rosary to attract the town people to come to the parish.

According to the folk belief, the virgin disappeared from the altar and was found resting under the Camachile tree, five kilometers south of Samal. Same thing happened for three consecutive times. That's why it was decided to make a chapel on the site where she was always found.

The first church structures constructed on the founding site was modeled after primitive types: Open on all sides, thatched roofed held by columnar posts of molave wood and equiped with bamboo benches. It was reconstructed with adobe materials and roof imported from Europe. It was enlarged and enhanced but in 1938 it was destroyed by a fire. It was rebuilt to its present size. The church was administered by the Dominican Order. It is an example of a mixture of old and new architecture. It has four main portals, namely the Gate of Heaven, the Gate of Saints, the Gate of Angels and the Gate of Paradise.


The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Orani was brought by the Dominicans to Bataan in 1587. There are several theories as to the origin of the image itself: 1. that it was brought from Spain on board the galleons that transported soldiers and the religious from Spain to the New World; 2. that it was brought from Mexico, where the Dominicans were already well-established and where the friars coming from Spain would stop before continuing the journey to the Philippines; 3. that the image was made in the Philippines, shortly after the first group of Dominicans arrived in our shores in July of 1587.

Wherever they went, it was customary for the Dominicans to bring with them an image of the Virgin of the Rosary to all the new missions they established as they have taken upon themselves the propagation of the devotion to the Holy Rosary. It was also customary for the Dominicans to name their first convent in an area in honor of St. Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers (O.P.) or the Dominican Order so it no surpise that when the Dominicans founded the town of Sto. Domingo de Abucay 1587, they already had with them the iamge of our Lady of Orani.

The iconograpahy of this image, which was done in the round, i.e, fully-sculpted including the clothes, follows the traditional baroque convention of the Mother and Child, in particular, of the Virgin of the Rosary. She holds a scepter and a walking stick (bastón) with her right hand (as a symbol of her queenship and authority) while she sustains the Christ Child with her left. The Christ Child holds a globe in His left hand while extending his right arm in a blessing. Rosaries hang from the necks of both Mother and Child. She is garbed with a blue mantle that extends from her back and is tucked in her waist, and wears a white robe that was originally red but was repainted at a later date. A white veil cover her head. Despite her being fully-sculpted she is traditionally dressed in embroidered vestments donated by her numerous devotees.

Although the image's features are quite traditional and conventional, there is an element which may shed light on its origin: the suksok, which is a carved and stylistic rendition of the mantle, tucked into the waist at the back. According to ecclesiastical art scholar, Margarita Estella Marcos, this element most like indicate a Philippine provenance.

Miracles of the Sto. Rosario of Orani

As soon as the first chapel of the Virgin was constructed in the town of Orani,it was plundered by a group of Aetas. The uprising was in reprisal against the colonizers who forced them to go to the hills. As they rushed in to the town proper, they were stopped by a beautiful lady. They have seen the apparition too alarming and being superstitious, they withdrawn in fear.

In 1718, ricefields in Orani was attacked by locusts. Farmers and townpeople come to the church and prayed for their safety and to stoppage of the impending shortage of food. The answer did not take long. A tornado came and swept the locusts away from the town.

In Word War II, a Japanese soldier aimed his gun on the image, intending to shoot it. To the astonishment of the onlookers, the magazine of his gun lost its stiffness, as though subjected to the heat of a furnace. The soldier ran off, totally scared.

During one of the Red Tide seasons in Luzon recently, The fishermen turns to Her for good catch. One morning, the hemline of her dress was found dirty with soil and wet with water. Soon, the Red Tide subsided, particularly in Orani Bay.

After the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, many parishioners in Pampanga came to Orani for the feast of Our Lady of Orani and not in Angeles City, where a replica of the Sto. Rosario is kept. When asked about it, they declared that during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, the Sto. Rosario of Orani, appeared before them to comfort them in times of trouble. This explained why, the lower part of the Sto. Rosario de Orani's dress was thoroughly wet with lahar.


Our Lady of the Rosary

The image was cannonically crowned on October 27, 1958 by the Papal Bull.The canonical coronation was held on April, 18,1959. The feast of the Sto. Rosario de Orani is celebrated every 2nd sunday of October.


  • Barcelona, Mary Anne. Ynang Maria: A Celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Philippines. Edited by Consuelo B. Estepa, P.D. Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc, 2004.



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