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49  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014) on: November 14, 2014, 06:23:43 AM
Here is the story behind the Feast, the icon and its miracles:

The PORTA VAGA


In 1602, the Spaniards built the historical fortress of PORTA VAGA, a 20-foot high fort that guarded the entrance to the Spanish city. The name could have been suggested by the Tagalog puertang bago (“new door”). The massive walls of San Felipe were erected in 1614 to protect the navy yard against incursions by Moro pirates, Dutch invaders and other groups opposing their rule. During the American era, it was used as a station of the US Marines. It was eventually destroyed during the Second World War. The city was officially baptized Cavite that year when it was established as a politico-military district and capital of Cavite province. The Isthmus del Rosario linked Cavite with the mainland.



A plausible legend narrates that many years ago, in a date which remained unremembered, a small detachment of Spanish carabinero was stationed at a sentry post called garitalocated at the end of the isthmus of Rosario. One stormy night, while a Spanish sentinel was on watch at his post despite the dangers brought about by thunderstorm and furious lashes of rain, he perceived a halo of a bright shifting and refulgent light. A dazzling apparition rose from the torrid current of Cañacao Bay startling the sentry with suspicion that it could be Moslem pirates from the south who were planning to ransack the puerto. At that time, Cavite was at the peak of economic prosperity because of the galleon trade. As the light flowed toward the guard, he stood ready and alarmed. Although filled with fear, he shouted “Alto! Alto!” However, instead of executing a halt, the light proceeded toward him. Still in a loud voice, he asked “Quien Vive?” (Who is there?) Then he heard a sweet and melodious voice saying: “Soldadito, porque el alto me das en noche tan fria? Dame paso. No conoces a Maria?” (Soldier boy, why challenge me on a night so cold? Let me pass. Don’t you recognize Maria?) The sentinel, struck with awe and confusion, humbly and repentantly replied: “Perdonad me Virgen Maria, Reina de mi devocion; pues solo soy un soldado fue cumplo mi obligacion!” (Forgive me, my Virgin, Queen of my heart; I am a poor sentinel abiding by his duty.”)



A serene and sunny morning followed the stormy night. The early risers, mostly fishermen and workers at the Cavite Royal Arsenal usually passed through the Porta Vaga gate in entering the puerto. Along the beach of Cañacao Bay, they found a framed image of the Virgen de la Soledad lying on the sandy shore. It was close to the spot where the Virgin appeared the previous night. Others claimed it came with the debris of a Spanish galleon that sank during the fierce typhoon. They brought the image to the parish priest, who temporarily installed it in the parish church. Later, a small chapel was built near the Porta Vaga walls and for three centuries it became the shrine of the Virgen de la Soledad.



An inscription was found at the back of the painting, “A doze de Abril 1692 años Juan de Oliba puso esta Stsma. Ymagen Haqui.” This inscription says that “this sacred image was placed here on April 12, 1692 by Juan Oliva” but it does not clearly tells us the exact date of the Virgin’s arrival. It is possible that it is the date when the Virgin was enthroned at the altar of the Ermita de Porta Vaga in the 17th century. Devotees of the Virgen de la Soledad were not satisfied in placing her in one of the seven churches of Cavite Puerto. They decided to build for her the Ermita de Porta Vaga, a small chapel near the gate of the Porta Vaga, the fortlet guarding the entrance to the Puerto de Cavite. For three centuries, it became the shrine of the Virgin.



Legends do not satisfy the curiosity of a seeker. The heavy files of history prove to be an accomodating ally in the earnest search for the truth about the Virgin. In the past, numerous Caviteño writers attempted to give a definite date of Her arrival. Some said that it must be during the second half of the seventeenth century. Others would give a more definite year –1667.



In spite all available data, the Virgin’s origins and arrival to Cavite is still shrouded with mystery. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why many devotees have been drawn to Her aura all these years. One thing remains unchallenged even with the advent of changing lifestyles and revolutionary breakthroughs in almost all aspects of human life. Cavite will never be the same again without its Patroness. That, history will find improbable, if not impossible to write.


LA ERMITA DE PORTA VAGA

Pious devotees of the Virgen de la Soledad deemed it but proper to accord Her an abode of Her own where she could reign supreme. They were not satisfied to enthrone Her in one of the seven churches of Cavite puerto. A shrine befitting the unassuming majesty of the spiritual Mother is where the image of the Virgin should belong. So they built for Her the Ermita de Porta Vaga.



Ermita came from the Spanish word which means hermitage. It was called Ermita for it was such a solemn place where people could commune with God in prayer and silence. De Porta Vaga was added because it was built near the Porta Vaga gate. The fortlet guarding the entrance to the Puerto de Cavite was originally known as Puerta Vaga. According to Fray Joaquin Martinez de Zuniga, O.S.A., Vaga came from the tagalog word bago which means new. This gate was comparatively new as compared to the ancient walls of Fuerte Real de San Felipe. Thus, Puerta Vaga evolved into Porta Vaga.



A section in the Almanaque de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, mentioned that the Recollect Fathers, with Father Cenon Naya as its first curate, built the Ermita in 1612. However, the Recollect Fathers arrived in Cavite in 1616 and the Virgin was found in ca.1667. Thus, this date – 1612 is untenable. Others claimed that the Jesuits were the ones who built the Ermita. Up to this day, no one really knows the truth.



MIRACLES OF THE VIRGIN

Faith is strengthened and then solidified by the most trying events in life. These may be crucial tests of endurance, of survival, trying moments that hover between life and death. To most of us, these are crossroads that mark our passage from one stage to another, or doors that open new opportunities for us. We are tested as human beings and the dawn of realization delivers us as changed individuals. We are baptized in the spirit, so to speak, by occurrences which our mortal grasps are unable to explain, by “miracles”which generations before us were unable to fathom, and probably generations after us shall unceasingly ponder on and on.



Countless miracles have been attributed to the Virgen de la Soledad. Her mysterious apparition and the unexplained arrival of Her image were initial revelations of her miraculous reign.



She is also known as the "Virgin of a Thousand Miracles" because of many miracles granted to the faithful devotees from the day of its discovery to the present. Among the notable miracles attributed to her intercession are the following famous stories:

During the terrible typhoon in 1830, a fire caused by lightning bolt hit the wooden altar of the Ermita and razed the chapel to the ground, but the image of the Virgin remained intact among the ashes.



In 1856, another terrible typhoon flooded the houses, churches and public buildings within the Puerto but the Ermita, as well as its patio were found dry so the people took refuge in the Church.



On June 30, 1857, a Spanish frigate based in Cavite and named “Lucero” was caught by a violent typhoon off the coast of Albay. It ran aground on the rocky place known as Rawis, legaspi. For twenty two days, the ship was unable to move not only because of the low tide, but also because of the absence of even a slight breeze. The crewmen were worried because their provision was running low. It happened that one of the crew members was a devotee of the Virgen de la Soledad. He took out Her picture and asked his fellow sailors to pray before Her. One night, the Virgin appeared before the crewmen in the light of the pale moon. As they fell to their knees, the tide rose higher and higher and the wind began to blow. The frigate floated free from its rocky trap and was able to return safely to Cavite. There was so much jubilation. As the crewmen set foot on the ground, they proceeded right away to the Ermita. There, to the tune of the Te Deum, they expressed their gratitude to the Virgin.



In 1882, a terrible cholera epidemic spread in Cavite Puerto.It was said that Caviteños died by the hundreds and the streets had been a scene of daily funeral processions. The Spanish politico-military governor of Cavite, Don Juan Salcedo Y Mantilla de los Rios, ordered the spraying and burning of gunpowders on the streets so that the fire and the smoke they produce might drive away the virus of the disease.By mid-October, the epidemic was placed under control.



During this epidemic, the Governor himself fell ill.One afternoon, as he was about to take his siesta, he ordered his soldiers not to admit any visitor.After some time, he heard a persistent knock at the door. To his surprise, he found an old woman dressed in black. After the customary greetings, she asked him to give orders that the fiesta of Cavite be celebrated with the greatest pomp possible.



The Governor, eager to send the intruder away, agreed to the request. Then, the unwanted visitor left.The Governor, filled with fury at his soldiers, reprimanded them for admitting the old lady. The guards replied that they had not allowed anyone to enter the house. Then the Governor remembered the request. He realized that it must be the Virgin Herself who appeared to him.He also realized that after talking to the woman, the fever had left him.



All these miracles were depicted on large canvasses painted by Don Roman Faustino, Cavite’s most celebrated painter and pupil of Juan Luna,.These paintings were complete with the details and the respective dates of the miracles. Once, they were hanged on the walls of the Ermita. Everything perished during the last world war as if to signify that these miracles do not belong to the physical realm of life. More important perhaps than these human attempts to share with the future is the message of Cavite’s Patroness to Her fold: “I am thy Mother. Honor me. I shall always be with you all.”



There have been other miracles attributed to the Virgin with the passing of the years including present day accounts of healings, families reunited and family problems solved.


(Got this from their website - N.)
50  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014) on: November 12, 2014, 05:19:07 AM
Ah that is because there is a no links policy on the forum, and pictures have to be added through the gallery and reviewed before they can be posted. Cheesy

It keeps things modest and pure.  Cheesy

That is fine, I guess.
51  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014) on: November 11, 2014, 05:24:51 AM
I cannot add pictures... I cannot link them either....

Neopelagianus
52  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014) on: November 11, 2014, 05:22:11 AM
Hmmm, I cannot do anything right...

Neopelagianus
53  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Primera Fiesta De La Reina 2014 (Feast of the Queen, 2014) on: November 11, 2014, 05:17:38 AM
This feast is dedicated to our Patroness, the Virgin of Solitude.

54  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Douay-Rheims only? on: November 03, 2014, 05:38:03 AM
Me I can be considered a Douai-Rheims onlyist. But if there is no DRB, I would either stick to the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition or the Jerusalem Bible (minus the tetragrammaton)

Neopelagianus
55  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: May Crowning on: November 03, 2014, 05:35:49 AM
                       A Protestant friend inquired: Is May the only month that a May Crowning can be held? Or can this event be held in any other month?
If it were held in June wouldn't it be called the June Crowning?

Or better- "Marian Crowning"

Neopelagianus
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