INSTEAD of the annual foot procession known as Walk with Mary, a Visita Maria Motorcade will be held for this year’s celebration of the birth anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
John Taniola, president of the Children of Mary Vincentian Marian Youth (COMVMY) of the Archdiocesan Council of Cebu, said they have devised activities in lieu of the Walk with Mary to celebrate the occasion as safe and meaningful as possible amid the current public health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus.
Taniola said they partnered with the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of the Asilo de la Milagrosa for this year’s activity.
“We have agreed with our spiritual advisers to avoid mass gathering,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
Last year, not less than 9,000 Marian devotees joined the procession of the images of the Blessed Virgin Mary on her birthday. The procession left the Fuente Osmeña Circle at 4 a.m. and it ended at the Plaza Independencia, where a mass was celebrated.
For this year, Taniola said the blessed image of the Miraculous Medal will also be paraded during the Visita Maria Motorcade after the 6 a.m. mass that will be celebrated at the Asilo de la Milagrosa Chapel on Gorordo Ave.
Taniola declined to announce the route of the motorcade so as to avoid attracting devotees. However, the entire motorcade will be live-streamed on the official Facebook pages of Asilo de la Milagrosa and COMVMY.
He said the younger sisters and, possibly, some of their beneficiaries of the Asilo chapel will join the motorcade.
At 11 a.m., the national council of COMVMY will also offer a mass for its 152nd founding anniversary. This will also be streamed live on the COMVMY’s official Facebook page.
Another mass intended for the nativity of the Blessed Mother Mary will be celebrated at the National Shrine of Saint Joseph in Mandaue City at 5:30 p.m. This will be officiated by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cebu Rev. Midyphil Billones.
After the mass, a video with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma’s message of encouragement will be played.
Taniola said he hopes the faith of the people remain and their trust in the intercession of the prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary will continue.
“Even in these toughest times of our country, we must never forget that our Blessed Mother will always be with us,” he said.
Other activities that will culminate on Sept. 8, he said, include their “Be Like Mary” activity where members, especially children age nine to 12, of the COMVMY’s sub-units in parishes and schools can dress up and portray the message of one of Mary’s apparitions, in a respectful way.
They will also hold a logo-making contest for their association in line with the upcoming celebration of the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.
He said they have partnered with some of the healthcare facilities in Cebu so they can distribute miraculous medals to frontliners and other civilian workers on Mary’s birthday anniversary. (WBS)