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Mahal na Birhen: The Veneration of Mary in Manila, II

The deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a distinctive mark of Philippine Catholicism. It is a devotion that goes back to the initial evangelization of our islands, when the early Spanish missionaries discovered that the devotion to the Blessed Mother was so readily received by our forefathers. Indeed, from the start, Filipinos embraced the practices of Marian devotion: they venerated Marian images; they prayed the rosary; and they joined the Marian associations which the missionaries organized.

The Church in Manila shares with the rest of the country this deep affection for Mary, the Mother of God. The shrines built within the archdiocese to honor Our Lady as well as the various devotional practices of Manila’s faithful attest to Mary’s special place in the hearts of the people of Manila.

The current exhibition – the second in a series - presents some aspects of the veneration of Mary in Manila. It focuses on six centers of Marian devotion within the archdiocese: Ntra. Sra. del Carmen in Quiapo, Ntra. Sra. del Pronto Socorro in Binondo, Ntra. Sra. de Medalla Milagrosa in San Marcelino, Ntra. Sra. de Peñafrancia in Paco, Ntra. Sra. de Gracia in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati, and Ntra. Sra. dela Rosa in Poblacion, Makati.

In offering a survey of some Marian devotional practices within the archdiocese, the exhibition provides a glimpse of the special closeness of the Manileños to Mary. It makes evident, indeed, that our Blessed Mother is very much loved in Manila, that she is our Mahal na Birhen