LOOK: Apple-adorned Virgin Mary at Marian exhibit

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 06:51 PM

MANILA -- A Virgin Mary replica adorned with dozens of real apples is attracting curious onlookers at the current Flores de Maria exhibit at the lobby of Ali Mall in Araneta City, Cubao, Quezon City. 

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Called Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu and known as the patroness of San Mateo, Rizal, the statue is bedecked with bouquets of apples and roses. 

“Transformation ito ng sinasabing masamang mansanas ni Eba," Gerard Madrid, a long-time devotee of the image, told ABS-CBN News.

The statue depicts Mary holding the child Jesus and holding an apple projecting her role as the new Eve. “Bawal lang kainin ang mansanas,“ Madrid said laughing. 

Devotion to the Lady of Aranzazu began in Spain in the 15th century and spread in the Philippines under Spanish colonization. According to church oral history, many miracles have been attributed to devotion to the image including safety from calamities, health and family restoration. 

It is one of over 40 religious-historical statues and replicas on display at the exhibit which pays tribute to the Mother of Jesus Christ as the most beautiful flower of May. 

The exhibits follows the recent Grand Santacruzan of reigning queens and candidates of the 2022 Binibining Pilipinas who depicted Marian and other spiritual characters. 
Other significant images include the Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, La Imaculada Concepcion de Malabon, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help of the Cubao diocese.
“We invite the faithful and all nearby communities to visit the Flores De Maria exhibit here in Ali Mall to propagate their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May this exhibit remind everyone of the Holy Mother Mary's warmth, kindness, and purity amidst the challenges in her life,” Ali Mall executive Aileen Ibay told ABS-CBN News. 
The exhibit is available for public viewing until May 30.