Pampanga river parade now features 2 saints | Inquirer News

Pampanga river parade now features 2 saints

/ 06:00 AM June 28, 2018

CHURCH MARTYR This centuries-old image of St. Peter, “Apung Iru” to Catholics in Pampanga province, joined Apalit town’s fluvial procession in 1844.—TONETTE OREJAS

APALIT, Pampanga — Catholics in this coastal town are reviving a tradition they have not practiced in decades.

A new life-size image of St. Paul and an antique figure of St. Peter, which first took part in “libad” (fluvial parade) in 1844 or 174 years ago, will be put together again in a procession along the Pampanga River on Thursday.


The reunion here of the founders of the See of Rome is not confined to the event, the parish priest, Fr. Emil Dizon, said on Tuesday.



The town’s centuries-old church, which faces the Pampanga River like many other churches in the province, took the name St. Peter and St. Paul Parish after a Mass celebrated on Wednesday by Archbishop Florentino Lavarias.

This was two days before June 29, the saints’ martyrdom.

Dizon said no official documents in the archives of the Archdiocese of San Fernando or its mother archdiocese in Manila showed that the Apalit church was named St. Peter Parish.

During his stint as archbishop of San Fernando from 1978 to 1988, Oscar Cruz addressed the church as St. Peter and St. Paul Parish.



The parish also received bone relics of the two saints last year.

“In the theological and liturgical sense, St. Peter and St. Paul cannot be separated. St. Peter preached to the Jewish Christians and St. Paul to the Gentiles,” Dizon said.

The image of St. Paul, made of wood, was carved by Nick Lugue, an artist from Apalit. It will be enshrined at the church that is undergoing restoration for its heritage value.

Older residents could not remember the year when the image of St. Paul had ceased to be part of the river parade.

Knights of St. Peter

Every June 28, about 1,300 people swim in the Pampanga River to start the three-day feast of St. Peter and to keep the image safe during the fluvial procession.

Called Knights of St. Peter, the swimmers are mostly men who began their devotion as teenagers.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The procession starts in Barangay Capalangan where the image of St. Peter, owned by the Espiritu clan, is enshrined in a chapel.


© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.