With Our Lady of Candelaria as its patroness, the Presentation of the Child Jesus Parish prepared a special birthday celebration for the Blessed Mother on September 8, 2017. Realizing how devotions to the Blessed Virgin has grown in PCJ, a birthday celebration was conceptualized where more devotees will be able to participate. So it was a Marian Exhibit where visitors will be brought to places of Mary’s apparitions like Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje, Amsterdam, as if they had joined a Marian pilgrimage.
To depict the places of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions, the Sacred Heart Center Hall A was transformed into a few of these pilgrim sites. Forty (40) images of the Blessed Virgin Mary were brought in by devotees and parishioners. Short descriptions of these images were placed beside them to give visitors brief information about the origin of these images. Short films about our Blessed Mother and her apparitions were shown on these days at Hall B.
Four schools brought their students to visit the exhibit and when the screening time of the films about Mama Mary and her apparitions came, the students stayed to watch them. Movies like “Mary, the Mother of Jesus” and “Bernadette Soubirous” were among those shown on Friday (Sept. 8), Saturday (Sept. 9) and Sunday (Sept.10) together with a few documentary films about the various apparitions of our Blessed Mother.
Simultaneously, as Rev. Fr. Willie Ramos blessed the exhibit site and welcomed all mass goers from the 6:45a.m. Mass, the Marian Circle initiated the start of the 2000 Hail Marys in church.
As per tradition, the Marian Circle members started with the four mysteries of the Holy Rosary, followed by the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Representatives from all parish ministries and mandated organizations, as well as BEC clusters came at their designated time to pray 2000 Hail Marys as they greeted our Blessed Mother in prayer. Flowers were offered to the image of Our Lady of Candelaria at the church’s altar and beautiful candles were lighted as the parish servants take turns in praying the Hail Marys in batches of 100. Prayer petitions were likewise made which were eventually offered at Mass.
Songs of praise ended the 2000 Hail Marys on Sept. 8 while the Marian Exhibit closed on Sept. 10 with prayers led by Rev. Fr. Willie Ramos himself, together with the core team headed by the Legion of Mary officers and faithful devotees of our Blessed Mother.