Dagupan City, the Philippines, 22 August 2018 -- As the Catholic Church all over the world celebrates the Queenship of Mary, the Canonical Coronation on the Image of Mary Help of Christians was held in the morning of this wonderful day at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. The solemn celebration was presided by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, the Most Reverend Gabriele Giordano Caccia.
The Image of Mary Help of Christians, venerated in the Mary Help of Christians Archdiocesan Seminary, has been given the honor of receiving papal coronation by His Holiness, Pope Francis. It is a clear message of affirmation from the Holy Father that this image of the Mother of God with the Child Jesus has contributed to the growth of the Catholic faith in Pangasinan for the past ninety years, says Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas, in his pastoral letter to the people of his archdiocese last April 26, 2018.
This image of Mary Help of Christians was a gift of then Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Guglielmo Piani to Bishop Cesar Maria Guerrero, the first Bishop of Lingayen. This gift caused the naming of the archdiocesan seminary as Mary Help of Christians Seminary. Archbishop Piani was a Salesian bishop while Bishop Guerrero was a Salesian cooperator. Indeed, our Lady, the Help of Christians, chose two of her beloved children in Don Bosco for her image under this title to be in this place some ninety years ago and be venerated through the years.
The solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist started at 9:00am that saw the cathedral filled with people inside and outside the cathedral grounds despite the rain. The Salesians of Don Bosco, together with the members of the different branches of the Salesian Family attended this event that is so close to the hearts of all the children of St. John Bosco.
Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, SDB, the FIN Provincial Superior accompanied Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB, the East-Asia Oceania Regional Councilor who is in the Province for four days for the Curatorium meeting.