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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Miraculous Lady of Candles

Just in time for Holy Week, let me share this picture of me with the miraculous Lady of Candles (Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria) and the child Jesus. This image of the Holy Mother and Child can be found in the Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo City, Philippines. This image is over 400 years old.

My friend took me around when I visited. And she pointed out the cathedral as we were driving through the city proper. The story of this image starts with a fisherman who finds it tangled in his net. The fisherman was in the middle of the sea, so he was astonished to find the image among his catch. He decided to donate the image to the church. And what started out as a small image (it fit in the net, right?) has now turned into this life size statue.

The image is cemented  in front of the cathedral at the top tower. It is encased too. But it has been growing. I've heard of growing rocks before but this one grows without altering its proportions. Every year there is a big fiesta to honor the image. And the virgin is fitted with new garments for the event. Every year the sewers are astonished to find that the size for the clothes just keep getting bigger.

So that's me looking at the image. Look at how small my head is compared to it. It's grown to be that big! It's a beautiful sight. Try to visit Our Lady when you're in Iloilo :)