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Devotees celebrate coronation of Our Lady of Sorrows in Ontario

Christine Santos | TFC News Midland, Ontario

Posted at Sep 20 2022 07:47 PM

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A historic event took place at Martyrs' Shrine in Midland, Ontario, Canada on September 3rd with the solemn coronation of the venerated image of Our Lady of Sorrows.

The ceremony was held as part of the Sunday mass, presided by Fr. Michael Knox of Martyrs’ Shrine and Fr. Warren Puno of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows from Dolores, Quezon, Philippines.

The priests shared the significance of the event for devotees in Canada and the Philippines.

"It's truly a historic event at Martyrs Shrine alongside the Canadian Martyrs, we have Our Lady of Sorrows. And experience it in the Philippines, has been awaited for four decades, and now at Martyrs’ Shrine, we have our own Our Lady of Sorrows joining with hers in the Philippines and sharing in prayer with so many hundreds of thousands of people that visit," Fr. Knox said.

Meanwhile, Fr. Puno noted, "noong 2021 ay nabigyan ng canonical coronation yung imahen ng Mahal na Birhen doon sa Dolores ng Santo Papa. So ang nangyari lang dito sa Canada ay parang tinulad natin yung nangyari sa Pilipinas, and pagkakaiba lang, ito ay walang decree from the Vatican. Ito ay more on personal devotion ng mga tao kasi naniniwala sila na yun naman talagang Birhen sa Pilipinas at Birhen dito sa Toronto na Birheng Dolorosa ay iisa."

(In 2021, a canonical coronation was given to the image of the Blessed Mother in Dolores by the Pope. We mimicked it here in Canada. The difference is that the one here did not receive a decree from the Vatican. This is more of a personal devotion for the people as they believe that Our Lady of Sorrows in the Philippines and the one here in Toronto are one and the same.)
 
Organizers were in awe with the whole experience especially event organizer and Dolores Canada founder Philip Beloso who couldn’t believe that his group’s devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows for the past decades would lead to the coronation at the shrine.

"I think everything that happened is a miracle way," Beloso said. "Lahat ang sabi sakin, hindi mo kaya yan pero lahat ay nangyayari according to plan. After 28 years, hindi mo naisip na mangyayari ito. Kita mo naman ang daming tao at  paano nangyari at nagkaroon ng Mahal na Birheng Dolorosa sa Canada na nasa shrine din."

(I've been discouraged by many, but everything happened according to plan. After 28 years, it's hard to believe this will happen.  As you can see, there are lots of people and it's surreal that we now have Our Lady of Sorrows in Canada at a shrine just like in the Philippines.)

Dolorosa Fiesta Celebration Hermana Mayor Genevieve Dela Cruz also shared how they raised funds for the event.

"Kami po ang nag-ambag ambag para sa korona mismo ng Mahal na Birhen. Ang tanong ko lagi sa sarili ko, bakit ako? Siguro tinatawag kami ulit ng Mahal na Birhen na bumalik sa Midland. Talagang very powerful po yang effect nung coronation," she said.

(We pooled our funds together for the crown of the Blessed Mother. I kept asking myself, why me?  Maybe the Blessed Mother is calling me back to Midland.  The effect of the coronation was indeed very powerful.)
 
Martyrs’ Shrine Programs Lead Christoph Lorenz described the statue as very unique.
 
"To have something that mimics something that is back in its hometown, back in the Philippines, it’s something very unique. It is definitely a little bit of home right here for sure," Lorenz said.
 
Fr. Puno encourages people overseas to have a devotion to her.

"Sa ating mga kababayan na nangingibang bansa para maghanap buhay, iligtas ang kanilang pamilya sa gutom o sa kahirapan, I encourage you to have a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows," he said.

(To our fellowmen who migrate to other countries to work and save their families from hunger and poverty, I encourage you to have a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows.)

Devotee Nilda Pingol shared how Our Lady of Sorrows have touched her life.

"I guess yung anak ko nakikita nya na tuwing gabi nagdadasal ako sa altar ni Mama Mary at saka ni Sto. Niño. Meron ako nung lighter. Ang na-light nya yung artificial flower. Nag-ignite yung flowers nasunog lahat, ashes on the ceiling but the fire is gone. Siguro talagang pinatigil ni Mama Mary at saka ni Sto. Niño yung apoy kasi otherwise, my whole house will be burnt," Pingol said.

(I guess my son always sees me pray to Mama Mary and Santo Niño at the altar each night.. I have a lighter. He lit up the artificial flower instead. The flowers ignited, everything around it burned, ashes on the ceiling but the fire is gone. I guess Mama Mary and Sto. Niño made the fire stop, otherwise my whole house would've been burnt down.)

With the crowned image of Our Lady of Sorrows enshrined at Martyrs' Shrine in Midland, Ontario, visitors can now partake in a similar experience as other devotees at the National Shrine in Dolores, Quezon, Philippines.