‘Modified’ Peñafrancia festivities to resume this year

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The Archdiocese of Caceres has decided to celebrate again the feast of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia this September.

Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona said the annual feast will have some modifications amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.

“While we continue to preserve the nature and character of the festivities, there will be changes to the conduct of the processions, to protect the well-being of devotees, pilgrims, and the public at large,” Tirona said in a circular dated June 8 and made public Thursday.

These changes include the mounting in vehicles of the images of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and Divino Rostro during the Traslacion.

He added that only a limited number of devotees will be allowed on the image's pagoda during its fluvial procession.

“Kissing and touching the images will not be allowed at all times,” Tirona said.

The details regarding the activities will be released in the coming weeks as the archdiocese prepares for the festivities of the Divino Rostro from Aug. 31 to Sept. 9 and Our Lady of Penafrancia from Sept. 8 to 10.

“We look forward to a solemn and meaningful celebration, cognizant of the need to observe basic health protocols,” the Caceres archbishop added.

This year's celebration will reflect on the theme “Mary accompanies us in our journey towards a synodal Church”.

It marks the 312th year of devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, and the 140th year of devotion to the Divino Rostro.

“May the coming celebration of the feast of the Divino Rostro and Ina open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit so we can imitate Mary in our journey towards the Father,” he said.

Naga City scrapped the traditional Peñafrancia fiesta in the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Philippines News Agency