Manila, the Philippines, 25 May 2022 -- “Please ask the Salesians to get the statue of Maria Auxilladora from the parish bodega and bring her to her shrine.” This was the wish of Tiya Loleng (Mrs. Dolores Salvador) when I met her during the October 4, 1993 wake of my aunt who was her goddaughter. It so happened that the mass presider that evening was a Salesian. That triggered her request.
Tiya Loleng was a staunch devotee of Maria Auxilladora at the parish of Our Lady of Loreto in Bustillos, Sampaloc, Manila. I remember that she used to come to our house every year to solicit donations for their celebration of the feast the Blessed Mother on May 24. However, her request when I met her that evening came as a complete surprise. She explained that the statue was just being kept in the bodega (storeroom) of the parish. According to her, the statue is special because it was brought to the Philippines by Monsignor Piani, a Salesian and that it was brought to their parish for safekeeping during the war and thereby escaped the destruction of the side of the city where the nunciature was located.
The request did not end that evening. Tiya Loleng persisted and followed up with numerous phone calls until I referred her to the Salesians, Fr. Vicente Cervania and Fr. Danilo Torres. They made the necessary negotiations with the concerned parish and other church officials. They succeeded in bringing Mary Help of Christians to her HOME, her shrine in Better Living, Paranaque.
For Tiya Loleng, it was wish granted!