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Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia

Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia fluvial parade, is the Mother of Bicolandia, whose Basilica is flocked by pilgrims during its feast day which is celebrated on the third Saturday of September. The feast day is preceded by a novena, nine days of prayer, in honor of Our Lady. On the first day, the image of the Virgin, a replica of the Madonna in Peñafrancia, Spain, is brought from its shrine to the Naga Cathedral where the novena is held. On the last day, the image is returned to her shrine following the Naga River route. 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 or Long live the Virgin! The image is brought back in a procession to the cathedral. The famous Madonna is believed to have miraculous powers. On her feast day, pilgrims gather at her shrine to pay her homage for favors received.


4 September 1404
Birth of Simon Vela in Paris. He later entered the Franciscan monastery and became a devotee of the Blessed Virgin. He often asked the Lady in his prayer what he could do to please her. One day while he was asleep, he was awakened by a voice saying to him: Simon wake up. Keep watch. From now on you shall be called Simon Vela. . Go to Peña de Francia or Mount of France, west of the country. There you will find a picture of the Lady.

19 May 1434
Simon Vela and five companions found the image of the Virgin hidden in Monte de Francia between Salamanca and Caceres, in Spain. The first miracles happened. Simon’s wound was instantly cured, Pascual’s eye defect disappeared, Juan got relieved of a ten year-old stomach disorder, Antonio was able to hear, Benito’s abnormality in his fingers since birth was cured. The incident was properly documented and officially signed at the archives of San Martin de Castañar

15 August 1595
Foundation of the Diocese of Nueva Caceres on Naga City Philippines.

1697
The secular priest Don Miguel Robles de Covarubias enshrines a painting of the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia in a bamboo and nipa chapel in Dilao in Paco, Manila. Summoned by the Bishop of Caceres, Andres Gonzalez, OP 1605-1709, he became Provisor and Vicar General of the diocese.

1710
Don Miguel Robles de Covarubias builds a bamboo and nipa chapel in Naga in honor of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia a vow offering for blessings received in his youth. He builds this first church at the invitation of the cimarrones or Negrito tribe from Mt Isarog, more or less where the present Peñafrancia shrine stands

1 May 1710
A golden necklace is enclosed in a letter sent by Fray Domingo de Sera and Bicol devotees to the original shrine of Peñafrancia in Salamanca, Spain records the Bicol origin of Peñafrancia.

1710
Seventeen-inch tall statuette of wood carved after the image of the Spanish Virgin of Peñafrancia, painted with a pigment mixed with dog’s blood gives the Virgin’s face a dark complexion. Fr. Miguel asked that the Virgin be carved of santol wood and patterned from the picture on the cover of his book.It was the custom at that time to use a dog’s blood as ingredient to the paint and wood preservative.

1712
A stone church replaces the bamboo and nipa chapel in Dilao, Manila

1711, 1717, 1723
Letters of Don Miguel about the miracles during his illness to the chaplain of Peñafrancia in San Martin de Castañar Spain

1742-1750
Bishop Isidoro Arevalo builds the present Peñafrancia shrine in brick and stone

1882
Cholera epidemic breaks in Manila and spreads to Bicol

26 August 1882
P. Casimiro Herrero invokes the intercession of the Divino Rostro and Nstra Sñra de Peñafrancia against the deadly cholera epidemic. In gratitude for having been spared form the cholera epidemic, the Church leaders vowed to celebrate together the feast of the Divino Rostro and Nstra Sñra de Peñafrancia. Most Rev. Casimiro Herrera, OSA on 1880-1886, on August 26, ordered the images of the Divino Rostro and Our Lady of Peñafrancia be enshrined for prayers by the faithful at the Cathedral. Saved from the epidemic, the faithful and the clergy in Caceres made the solemn vow to have the images of Ina and the Divino Rostro always borne together in processions and solemn occasions

1855
Bp Grijalvo issues a decree to the effect that both images of the Virgin and the Holy Face be carried together in the traslacion

1866
Bishop Francisco Gainza OP publishes the history of Peñafrancia and novena to the Virgin

10 June 1895
Rescript of Pope Leo XIII making Nstra Sñra de Peñafrancia  or Patroness of Nueva Caceres

2 May 1920
Vatican’s canonical approval of the Virgin’s coronation

20 September 1924
Coronation of Nstra Sñra de Peñafrancia as Queen of Bicol by the Edict of Pope Benedict XV under the Pontificate of Pius XI. The popular hymn “Resuene Vibrante” for the coronation was composed by Fr. Maximo Huguera

1949
Silver Jubilee of 1924, visits of the image in Bicolandia

September 1972
Tragic collapse of Colgante bridge, 138 perished in that incident

1974
Golden Jubilee of Canonical Coronation of INA 1924

April 18, 1976
Laying of the cornerstone of the Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia lead by Jaime Cardinal Sin and Most Rev. Teopisto Alberto

18 August 1981
The 275- yr old image was missing at her shrine

22 May 1982
Inauguration and dedication of Basilica Minore of Nstra Sñra de Peñafrancia.

5 September 1982
Image is returned at CBCP office

8 September 1982
A motorcade arrived in Naga from Manila bearing the image of INA at the height of typhoon Ruping. But before hher entry to Naga City, the heavy rains suddenly stopped.

May 2, 1985
Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi, OP received the official communication from Vatican the decree from Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship granting the title Basilica Minore to the church of Nstra Sra. De Penafrancia.

16 September 1999
The Archdiocese of Caceres celebrated the 75th anniversary of the canonical coronation of the Virgin. A Solemn Re-Coronation of the Virgin was done by the present papal nuncio to the Philippines, Most Rev. Antonio Franco, DD, assisted by the incumbent Archbishop, Leonardo Legaspi,OP, DD.

September 2007
Launching of the 3-year preparation for the Tricentennial of the Devotion to Our Lady of Penafrancia.

September 2010
Grand celebration of the 300th year of the Devotion to INA, Our Lady of Penafrancia.