Luna, La Union — Thousands of devotees of the St. Catherine of Alexandria Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan, endearingly called “Apo Baket” by Iloko folk, are expected here this Holy Week for a pilgrimage and to fetch water from a well that they believe is a miracle cure to diseases.
Winona Ostre, the church’s spokesperson, said that they are already preparing for the droves of people expected to crowd the church compound and then gather water from the well.
[caption id="attachment_127882" align="alignleft" width="300"] EXTRAORDINARY WATER — After praying at the St. Catherine of Alexandria Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan, a woman fills her plastic bottle with water from a well believed by many to cure ailments in Luna, La Union. (Erwin G. Beleo)[/caption]
Mr. Albert Albea, a resident of this town, professes that the water has healing power and that he had experienced it.
Bro. Bernard Ramos, a seminarian based at the parish, told the Manila Bulletin that there is a story going around that Apo Baket or Saint Catherine appeared in the dream of a “balikbayan” woman, also a devotee, and told her to dig a well near the church.
“This woman asked for volunteers to dig a well. Some people, after attending mass, drink water from the well since it is on the way between the church and the market,” Ramos said. “Many professed they felt stronger and that there was a man who was physically ill and got healed believing the water cured him.”
Later, the Department of Health (DOH) sent a representative to investigate the water’s chemical content and found that it contains alkaline and is safe for drinking, said Ramos.
Beginning yesterday, there have been more devotees and foreign and local tourists visiting the church to pray and also noticeably carrying with them plastic bottles to fetch water from the so-called “miraculous well.”
“The water is free, all you have to do is to fall-in-line and be patient,” said the church caretaker.