The Order of Preachers serves under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mother, as the Orderhas since been dedicated by St. Dominic to the service and honor of Mary.
In the Philippines, where Filipino’s love for Mary has earned them the name “Pueblo amante de Maria” or “the People in love with Mary,” the devotion to Mother Mary helped the Order in its preaching mission. The Order is blessed to have promoted the devotion to the Our Lady of the Rosary.
One of these devotions is the devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval de Manila, whose image has been regarded by many generations of Filipinos as miraculous. The image was created in the earlier half of the 17th century by a heathen Chinese, who eventually was converted to the faith. After its creation, a Spanish governor-general gifted the image to the Dominicans, who placed the image at the altar of the Sto. Domingo Church in Intramuros, Manila. However, what made the sacred image famous were the miraculous victories of the Filipino-Spanish forces against the invading Dutch armada in 1646.
Centuries passed, then after the Second World War, the image wasfinally found a new abode in the Santo Domingo Church, Quezon City. Through the centuries, the feast of La Naval has been celebrated with much pomp and pageantry. National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin called it “the biggest Marian celebration in Intramuros.” Until now, during the Second Sunday of October, many devotees flock together to celebrate the grand feast of Our Lady of La Naval.
The Philippine government, through the National Museum, declared the Santo Domingo Church, with its Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary-La Naval de Manila a National Cultural Treasure, the most prestigious recognition conferred by the Philippine Government on a historical landmark.
The Dominicans in the Philippines are also blessed to foster Marian devotion in the Northern part of the Philippines. There, thousands of pilgrims flock, seeking healing for body and spirit, peace and comfort from their problems and struggles through the intercession of the Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, or as the locals would call her, Apo Baket.
"We must sow the seed, not hoard it.."
- Saint Dominic
The devotion to Our Lady of Manaoag started when a farmer heard a call from a beautiful lady that appeared on top of a tree and revealed that she intended that a church be built on her chosen location. Since the establishment of the church, not only hasApo Baketguided and blessed the locals and pilgrims, but she has since served as well as the Mother of our Dominican Novices.
The Shrine of Manaoagwas recently elevated to Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag and is the first church in the Philippines to be given the title of “affiliate” of one of the four papal basilicas, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This means that the spiritual benefits that one can gain by visiting the papal basilicas, he can also receive by visiting the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag.
Tagged as the “Pilgrim Center of the North”, thousands of pilgrims join the Feast of the Our Lady of Manaoag every Third Wednesday of Easter and every 1st Sunday of October. Pilgrims also join the monthly Dawn Procession held every First Saturday of the Month at 4:00 in the morning.
Presently, the Dominicans in the Philippines have these two miraculous images under their care. Other Marian devotions that the Dominicans handled before were of the Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan and the Virgen Milagrosadel Rosario del Pueblo de Orani.