Our Lady of Hope of Palo crowned November 8 in Leyte
TACLOBAN CITY — A Marian image that inspired hope in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) was crowned on Tuesday, November 8, the ninth anniversary of the tragedy that killed more than 6,000 people.
Palo Archbishop John Du, who led the episcopal coronation of the Our Lady of Hope of Palo, encouraged people, especially those who lost their loved ones, to entrust everything to the Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“We were all mourning for the past nine years. In the same way, our Lady was mourning with us. But after nine years, our time of mourning has come to an end. There is a festive character to our celebration,” Du said in his homily in a Mass held at the Palo Cathedral in Leyte.
Also present during the celebration were priests and local officials led by Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla and Rep. Jude Acidre of Tingog party-list.
The wooden Marian image was made by ecclesiastical artist Willy Layug from the debris of the cathedral following the killer typhoon. The crowns of the Our Lady of Hope and the child Jesus were handcrafted by Noli Manalang.
The seven-foot Marian image was blessed by Pope Francis during a visit to Tacloban City and Palo on January 17, 2015.
The Marian image is dressed in Filipino attire which symbolizes that Mary is “with us.”
He explained that the crowns represent hope and the flowers represent a fresh start to the day. The anchor represents steadfastness in the face of adversity, and the Lady’s victory over the waves of the storm is symbolized by the pearls, which are the sea’s bounty.
The olive branches signify new life, while the aquamarine stones depict the element of water and the sea.
Du said he decided to have an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary carrying the child Jesus back in 2014 based on several accounts during the onslaught of Yolanda. Many survivors, he said, believed that Mother Mary had saved and rescued them from the storm surges that killed many people.
The feast day of Our Lady of Hope of Palo falls every November 8.
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