How to Consecrate the Whole Family to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

family-consecration

Consecrating the whole family to Our Mother of Perpetual Help before praying the novena regularly as a family is always a good thing. It ensures that the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help is not only private and individual but by the whole family. It also strengthens the unity of the family as it gathers the family through prayer. As the saying goes, “The family that prays together, stays together.”

Here are some helpful tips for the family in preparing for it’s consecration to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

  1. Decide a time where as much as possible all members of the family can get together for the consecration.
  2. Prepare an icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or a copy of the icon and place it on the family altar. Adorn it with candles and some fresh flowers.
  3. Prepare Holy Water. You can get Holy Water from the shrine or from your local parish.
  4. Provide a copy of the rite of consecration to each member of the family.
  5. You can invite your neighbors or friends to witness the consecration. This is optional. The most important is that the whole family is present.
  6. You can invite a priest to lead the consecration. But if there is no priest available, a lay minister or the head of the family can lead the consecration.
  7. After the consecration, have a simple and joyous meal together as a family. 

family-at-prayer

Here is the rite for the consecration:

BLESSING OF A FAMILY AND
CONSECRATION TO 
OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP

ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Priest:      The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

All: And also with you.

Or

(If Lay Minister):   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and for ever.

  1.   Amen.

Leader:    My dear friends, from the sacrament of marriage the family has received newness of life and the grace of Christ. The family is specially important to the Church and to civil society, for it is the primary life-giving community.

In our celebration today we call down the Lord’s blessing upon you, so that you may continually be instruments of God’s grace to one another and witnesses to faith in all the circumstances of life.

With God as your help you will fulfill your mission by conforming your entire life to the Gospel and so witness to Christ before the world.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians12:12-14

We are all one body.

As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.

The Word of the Lord.

Or:

Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians 4:1-6

Bear with one another lovingly.

I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 128

  1. Happy are those who fear the Lord.

Happy are you who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be, and favored. R.

Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life; May you see your children’s children. R.

INTERCESSIONS

L:    Christ the Lord, the Word coeternal with the Father, lived among us and chose to be part of a family and to enrich it with his blessings. Let us humbly ask for his favor and protection on this family.

  1.   Lord, keep our family in your peace.

L:    Through your own obedience to Mary and Joseph you consecrated family life; make this family holy by your presence. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    Your heart was set on the concerns of your Father; make every home a place where he is worshiped with reverence. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    You made your own family the model of prayer, of love, and of obedience to your Father’s will; by your grace make this family holy and make it rich with your gifts. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    You loved those who were close to you and they returned your love; bind all families together in the bonds of peace and of love for each other. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    At Cana in Galilee, when a new family was beginning, you gladdened it with your first miracle, changing water into wine; alleviate the sorrows and worries of this family and change them into joy. (For this we pray:) R.

L:    In your concern for the integrity of your family you said: “Let no one separate those whom God has bound together”; bind this husband and wife ever more closely together in the bond of your own love. (For this we pray:) R.

Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the words our Savior taught us:

All: Our Father…

PRAYER OF BLESSING

L:    O God, you have created us in love and saved us in mercy, and through the bond of marriage you have established the family and willed that it should become a sign of Christ’s love for his Church.

Shower your blessings on this family gathered here in your name. Enable those who are joined by one love to support one another by their fervor of spirit and devotion to prayer. Make them responsive to the needs of others and witnesses to the faith in all they say or do.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

  1.   Amen.

Or:

L:    We bless your name, O Lord, for sending your own incarnate Son to become part of a family, so that, as he lived its life, he would experience its worries and its joys.

We ask you, Lord, to protect and watch over this family, so that in the strength of your grace its members may enjoy prosperity, possess the priceless gift of your peace, and, as the Church alive in the home, bear witness in this world to your glory.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

  1.   Amen.

Sprinkle the family with holy water.

CONCLUDING RITE

Act of Consecration to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

(To be prayed by all the members of the family)

Immaculate Virgin Mary, * Mother of God and Mother of the Church, * you are also our Mother ever ready to help us. * With hearts full of love for you * we consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart * so that we may be your devoted children. * Obtain for us true sorrow for sins * and fidelity to the promises of our Baptism.

We consecrate our minds and hearts to you * that we always do the Will of our heavenly Father. * We consecrate our lives to you * that we may love God better * and live not for ourselves * but for Christ, your Son * and that we may see Him * and serve Him in others.

By this humble act of consecration, * dear Mother of Perpetual Help, * we pledge to model our lives on you, * the perfect Christian, * so that, consecrated to you in life and in death * we may belong to your Divine Son for all eternity. Amen.

L:    May the Lord Jesus, who lived with his holy family in Nazareth, dwell also with your family, keep it from evil, and make all of you one in heart and mind.

  1.   Amen.

Priest:      And may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.

  1.             Amen.

You can print a copy of this rite of consecration in Tagalog @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/assets/pagtatalaga-ng-pamilya-sa-omph.pdf

family_shrine

(This article is an excerpt from the book National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Tips, Trivia and Tribute by John Maguire, Joey Echano, et. al., soon to be published)

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How to Pray the Novena at Home

family_novena2

Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help is usually prayed in the shrine at Baclaran or in your local parish every Wednesday. Novena is a communal devotion not a private or individual devotion, thus, this is a prayer done with fellow devotees.

If there is a serious reason that you are not able to attend the novena at the shrine or in your local parish, like you are sick or some very important circumstances prevented you from attending the novena, then you can pray the novena at home.

Here are some important directions to praying the novena at home:

  1. Place an Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help or a copy of the icon at the altar of your home. Adorn it with candles and some flowers.
  2. Prepare the novena booklets. You can download a copy of the new Revised 2016 novena @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/assets/revised-novena-tagalog.pdf
  3. Invite your whole family or mates at home in praying the novena.
  4. Appoint a prayer leader to lead the prayers and hymns of the novena.
  5. Give some time for silence to contemplate or gaze at the icon during the novena.
  6. If you have not yet done so, consecrate the whole family to Our Mother of Perpetual Help before the novena or at a different time. You can download a copy of the Consecration @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/assets/pagtatalaga-ng-pamilya-sa-omph.pdf
  7. You can omit in the novena the Benediction prayers and hymns since you are doing the novena at home but you can pray the prayer for the sick. Then conclude the novena with the hymn, Hail Mary …

family_novena

(This article is an excerpt from the book National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Tips, Trivia and Tribute by John Maguire, Joey Echano, et. al., soon to be published)

How to Pray the Novena at the Shrine

novena3

Novena is the traditional and popular prayer that the thousands of devotees recite and sing together every Wednesday at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran. Although, the Novena is the main attraction for the thousands of devotees, it is essentially linked to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and reconciliation. Thus, attending Eucharist and receiving communion and making a good confession is an essential part of praying the novena. Writing letters of petitions and thanksgiving is also an essential part of the novena.

Here are the instructions for praying the novena in the shrine:

  1. Attend the Perpetual Novena devotions to our Mother of Perpetual Help for nine consecutive Wednesdays. Check out the schedule of the Novena and Masses every Wednesday at the shrine @ http://www.baclaranchurch.org/home.html
  2. Bring your novena booklet with you and join in the prayers and hymns.
  3. Before or after the Novena make a good confession.
  4. Write your petition to our Blessed Mother and place it in the box marked, “Petitions.”
  5. Do not leave after the novena. At the conclusion of the Novena there may be Benediction or Holy Mass.  
  6. Attend the Eucharist and receive Holy Communion as often as possible.
  7. When your petition has been answered, write a letter of thanksgiving to our Blessed Mother and place it in the box marked, “Thanksgiving Letters”, so that others also may be inspired to experience God’s perpetual help through the prayers of our Blessed Mother.

novena-english

(This article is an excerpt from the book National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Tips, Trivia and Tribute by John Maguire, Joey Echano, et. al., soon to be published)

A Shrine Born Out of a Love Story

~22~22

Did you know that when the first Redemptorist missionaries came to Baclaran, Philippines in 1929, they never planned to build a big shrine for Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Little did they imagine that someday, Baclaran would turn into the biggest pilgrim shrine in the world dedicated to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

If the Redemptorists did not plan it, who planned it? To answer this question, let us take a trip down memory lane.

The first Redemptorist missionaries who came to the Philippines in 1906 began their mission in Opon, near Cebu. From there, they gave missions to several provinces in the Visayas.

From the Visayas, the Redemptorist advanced to Luzon to expand their missionary work. The Manila Archdiocese entrusted to the Redemptorist the care of the parish of Malate in 1913.  The Redemptorist was reluctant all along to live in Malate as they were keener on giving missions to the barrios of the Southern and Northern Luzon region. Fr. Michael Bailey summarized the sentiments of the early Redemptorist about Malate as “good as a parish apostolate but as a mission to Filipinos it was in many ways as ill-fated as its origins were compromising.” Filipino Sociologist Manuel Victor Sapitula explains that the reticence of the pioneer Redemptorists regarding Malate was because they deemed it “too urban.”  Instead of an urban parish, the majority of the pioneer missionaries preferred a mission base far removed from the exigencies of urban life.

To cut the story short, not long after settling in Malate, the Redemptorists negotiated with the Archdiocese for a transfer. The Archbishop offered them a piece of land in the then rural village of Baclaran. The land was a donation by a devotee of our Blessed Virgin Mary. In Baclaran, the Redemptorist have finally found an ideal location for a mission station, one that they have been longing for, ever since they sat foot in Luzon. The Redemptorist immediately began the process of transfer from Malate to Baclaran in 1929.   

In 1929, Baclaran was an unknown small rural fishing village of Manila, Perhaps during that time, people would have asked: Is there something good that can come out of Baclaran? Ironically, Baclaran as a suburb outside of the city center, poor and rural are the reasons why the Redemptorists settled there.

The Redemptorist built a small convent and church in the middle of grassland. The grassland was near the seacoast where the fisher folks used to anchor their small fishing boats. Before World War II, the waters of Manila Bay used to come up to the refectory of the monastery especially on high tide.  After the war, the water used to lap the shore along Roxas Boulevard. Now the sea is about two kilometers from the front of the Church.

From the very beginning, the early Redemptorists conceived of Baclaran as a mission station where they can hold missions to distant barrios. The Redemptorists settled at Baclaran primarily to give mission. There was never a plan to make Baclaran a parish. The small wooden chapel will only cater to the local community around the convent. This chapel fits the ideal preconception of a rural mission church that the pioneer Redemptorists favored. Built with wooden frames and rather small, the shrine and monastery suited the predominantly fishing village landscape that Baclaran exemplified.

The entry in the Chronicles of the Baclaran Community, dated March 21, 1932—the day Fr. Denis Grogan, the man who built Baclaran Monastery and Church left the Philippines—encapsulated the missionary intent of the Redemptorist when they settled in Baclaran:

“The Redemptorists now had a Monastery where they could live as religious and get on with their main work of learning Tagalog to give Missions to the Filipino People wherever they were needed.”

~13A further expression of this missionary aspiration is Grogan’s dedication of the shrine and its attached convent to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, patron saint of mission. This is etched in the foundation stone of the Monastery, which was blessed and laid on Sept 13, 1931:

At the request of Most Rev. Fr. General Murray and with the approval of His Grace, the Monastery and Church are to be dedicated to St Teresa of the Child Jesus, the patroness of the missions. The secondary Patrons shall be the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Mother of Perpetual Succor, St Joseph, St. Alphonsus, St. Clement and St. Gerard.

After settling down in Baclaran, the Redemptorists did what they knew best—doing missions!  We read in the Chronicles of the Baclaran Community that they were working regularly in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga and occasionally in Ilocos, Baguio, and Palawan, as well as in Manila and Rizal.

Deeply occupied by missionary work, the early Redemptorists never thought of transforming the small wooden chapel into the big shrine that it is now. At the very beginning, however, there were already writings on the wall that will foreshadow the transformation of this small wooden church into the biggest shrine in the world dedicated to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

First of this writings on the wall is the intention of the donor. The donor, a certain pious woman named Anastacia donated the land with the intention that it give honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Fr. Sam Boland narrates,

The land was a pious foundation, as the Archbishop of Manila had described it, and quite an interesting one. It had been the property of a good widow whom Father Gallagher, the source of our information, remembers as Anastacia. In her will, she bequeathed the land to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her relations after her death referred the matter to the Holy See for an interpretation; and the decision was that it was to be regarded as a bequest to the Church to be used for religious purposes. Now at last after the elusive talk of the past few years about Baclaran, “the place of the fishtraps,” Anastacia’s gift to the Blessed Virgin, was entrusted to the Australian Redemptorists.

The second writing on the wall is the providential story of how the altar came to be dedicated to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. At the beginning of their ministry in Baclaran, the Redemptorist asked for donations from the people in building and adorning the small wooden chapel. The Ynchausti family came, along with friends and benefactors, with the intention of donating a beautiful high altar to the congregation. They had one condition, however, that the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help ought to occupy the high altar. This would conflict with the intention of the pioneer Redemptorists to have the chapel in honor of St. Thérèse. Who would get the high altar— St. Thérèse or Our Mother of Perpetual Help? Fr. Grogan unfolds to us this drama on an entry dated Feb 1, 1932 in the Chronicles:

“I am preparing the House and Church for the arrival of the Fathers and Brothers from Australia. The new high altar given by Sra. De Ynchausti arrived. It was designed and made by Mr. Maximo Vicente under the guidance of the donor. It became the high altar very providentially. Sta. Teresita being the Patroness should naturally have been there and for the first Mass celebrated in the church she was actually installed but when the donor offered her altar, she expressed the wish that it should be the high altar. I proposed her wish to Father Provincial (Byrne) with a good recommendation and he decided it should be so. The delay in communicating brought us near to the Opening Day and hearing nothing from Australia we gave orders that the plans should be changed and the altar made smaller to suit the aisle, but at that very moment, while the designer was in the house, the mail arrived from Australia and all was changed. Our Lady of Perpetual Succor (Help) was given the High Altar and Sta. Teresita on her right side, with St. Gerard on the left.”  

Later on, the Redemptorists transferred St. Thérèse’s statue to the grounds in front of the convent. As time will tell, this became a more fitting place for St. Thérèse’s statue as the people were able to touch her. This also serves as a reminder that the saint once had a brief reign in the shrine, before it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Filipino historian Trazer Dale Mansueto notes that Ynchausti’s choice of Our Mother of Perpetual Help underscores the growing devotion to the Marian title in the Philippines at the time prior to the explosion of the novena.  This further shows that some awareness about Our Mother of Perpetual Help has already reached Baclaran even before the Redemptorist arrived there.

It took sixteen years before anyone in the Redemptorist community thought of having a Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran. For sixteen years the Redemptorist were busy giving missions from all over the Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon areas. Although in most of these missions, they were introducing the icon and propagating the devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, no one thought, however, of introducing the novena at the small chapel of Baclaran.

When the Redemptorist finally did start the novena after hearing of it’s warm acceptance in Ilo-ilo, Lipa and Cebu, all were taken by surprise by the rapid increase of the crowd flocking to the small wooden chapel for the novena. During the first novena, there were only 70 people present.  The following week the number doubled. Before the year ended, the Redemptorists added more novena sessions since the original chapel was good for only 300 people.

1st_novenaThen, it dawned upon the Redemptorists that this chapel is not just meant to be a mission station. This chapel is meant for something extraordinary which the past writings on the wall have foreshadowed. Something special is about to transform this place because of Mary of Baclaran, Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The small wooden chapel would have to give way to a larger church.

By the end of 1949, there were eight crowded sessions of the novena, and many others were following it from the parking area. By this time, the crowd was estimated between 50,000 and 70,000 people.

The rest is history!

But where did the crowd who attended the novena came from? Why did the attendance to the novena multiplied so fast?

The Filipino people fell in love with Our Mother of Perpetual Help or shall we say Our Mother of Perpetual Help fell in love with the Filipino people even before the explosion of the novena in 1948. As the late Fr. John Maguire said,

[O]ne reason for the rapid spread of the Perpetual Novena, after it began in Baclaran in 1948, was the already existing love of the people for the Mother of Perpetual Help, whom they had come to know and love from the Redemptorist Missions.

It was the love story between the Filipino people and Our Mother of Perpetual Help that catapulted the explosion of the novena to cosmic proportions. It was the love story between the Filipino people and Our Mother of Perpetual Help who planned the biggest shrine of the world dedicated to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

The Redemptorists helped facilitate this love story to blossom in Baclaran. The Redemptorist missions in the barrios deep into the country introducing Our Mother of Perpetual Help helped prepare the way for the coming of the novena. The Redemptorists were the stewards entrusted with the care of the shrine that is a testament to the love story between the Filipino people and Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

newly constructed church

 

(This article is an excerpt from the book Mary of Baclaran: Our Mother of Perpetual Help and Mission Today by Joey Echano, soon to be published)

When There were No Vendors

church & house 1933

The first thing that people notice when they come to Baclaran is unfortunately the complete chaos in the streets surrounding the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. There are vendors anywhere and everywhere, the cars have to wait until the vendors are prepared to let them past and the pedestrians have to elbow their way through the crowds of vendors if they wish to get to the Shrine. People often say, Why don’t the police do something about it? Why doesn’t the barangay do something about it? What is the City doing about it?

Redemptorist Road is a National Road and once had four lanes of traffic and big sidewalks. All these was about to change as soon as the novena began in 1948.  We can find a clue of this in the Chronicles of the Baclaran Community. We read on September 28th 1949:

“During the past week a “subdivision” of Quiapo Market has been growing in front of our gate. Someone has counted more than 30 stalls. Many people have expressed disgust at this nuisance – but nothing much can be done about it. The police seem to be getting a “rake off” (as two or three have admitted) and so are not anxious to act.”

This was just one year and three months after the beginning of the Novena and there were only 30 vendors. Now the vendors are beyond count. And there is total chaos every day. Sometimes the MMDA clears the road for a day but the vendors comes back the following day. Many have been killed because of this cat and mouse drill.

Surely we can not go back to eden. But we dream of the day when there will be order and harmony on the streets surrounding the shrine so that the devotees can walk or drive in and out of the shrine smoothly and peacefully.

(This article is an excerpt from the book National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Tips, Trivia and Tribute by John Maguire, Joey Echano, et. al., soon to be published)

Sinirangan Coffee Shop: Brewing Hope, Sowing Dreams

sinirangan-coffee

Sinirangan Coffee Shop is not your ordinary coffee shop. Certainly, it serves wonderful coffee like the ordinary commercial coffee shop such as Starbucks, Gloria Jean’s, and Figaro. Like an ordinary commercial coffee shops, it also aims to earn money and profits. The difference, however, is that all the profit from Sinirangan goes to the poor. All profits from Sinirangan coffee shop do not go to the shrine nor to the Redemptorist community but to the survivors of the super typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar.

Sinirangan Coffee Shop is the shrine’s coffee shop located at the ground floor of the Carillon Bell Tower near the shrine’s main gate at Roxas Boulevard. Aside from coffee, the shop also serves a wide range of items including pasta and pastries.  The space inside is cozy and relaxing and provides a passage to the top of the Carillon Tower. The exterior garden is spacious and has plenty of hard wood trees and plants. This provides a relaxing and nature-friendly ambiance, an excellent environment while you are drinking coffee.

Through the concerted efforts of the Redemptorists’ Permanent Commission on Social Mission Apostolate (PCSMA) and Tabang Sinirangan Visayas, a multi-sectoral and inter-regional group whose main organizers include the victims themselves, the idea of building a coffee shop that caters products directly transported from Visayas was born. Amidst the devastation, a new hope was born, thus, the coffee shop was named “Sinirangan” which in Eastern Samar’s Waray language means dawn, a new day.

Sinirangan Coffee Shop is basically a livelihood support program benefitting the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Municipalities of Llorente, Gen.MacArthur, Quinapondan and Giporlos, Eastern Samar, Philippines. It involves the whole process of “soil to cup”—from planting and cultivating, to brewing and selling coffee. The soil-to-cup approach is the empowering of the small farmers in the process of production. This means that the farmers will have control from planting to marketing by providing them the necessary tools, conditions and structures.

sinirangan

Sinirangan coffee plantation is located in the towns of Llorente, Gen.MacArthur, Quinapondan and Giporlos, Eastern Samar, Philippines.  The coffee farmers belong to rural poor families and communities that were affected by the Super typhoon Yolanda. The total number of direct beneficiaries is 3200 households. The total number of indirect beneficiaries such as communities is 19,200 individuals. The types of beneficiaries are household families. The reason for their selection is because they are poor and have no means to take care of themselves.

Another interesting feature of Sinirangan Coffee Shop is that it provides job for graduates of the shrine’s skills and livelihood center. Also, many of the staff of Sinirangan are girls from the women’s center.

By patronizing the coffee shop you can enjoy beautiful coffee while helping the poor beneficiaries.  You may also get the chance to climb the Carillon tower which will give you a magnificent view of the surroundings of the Baclaran National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Come taste our Sinirangan Coffee and enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of Manila Bay Reclamation Area.

26

The Heavenly Sounds of Carillon Bells

carillon_bells2

In the midst of so much noise from cars, airplanes, vendors and people on the streets, a new kind of sound could be heard emanating in Baclaran today.  This sound comes from the carillon bells of the newly constructed bell tower of the shrine. The bells’ exquisite sounds evoke a sacred aura that could be heard as far as one kilometer. One can hear these sounds at certain times of the day.

This is the first time the Shrine has had a bell tower since it was built. Built in 2015, devotees and pilgrims helped fund the carillon bell tower. The shrine has opened the bell tower to all devotees and guests every day. It is becoming one of the most popular spots in the shrine today.

 “Carillon” is a set of stationary bells normally placed in a tower or high outdoor frame which when rung together can play a song or music. There are 25 carillon bells in this tower. They were all casted by Grassmayr, a European leading bell casting company from Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria.

The carillon bells do not need a human bell ringer. They are automatically programmed to ring at 6 am, 12 pm and 6 pm for the angelus. It also rings at 8 pm in honor of the dead and at 3 pm in commemoration of the death of Jesus on the cross. It also rings 15 minutes before every Mass or Novena service. There are 55 carillon bell “songs” to choose from, which include Novena songs, Christmas songs and religious songs. In special occasions of the shrine, like the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, they are used to signify to people about an important part of a liturgical service like the consecration in the Eucharist.

carillon_bellTowerThe bell tower also features 4 mosaics of Our Mother of Perpetual Help on each side of the tower. The four mosaic panels were created by VitreArtus Liturgical Arts Company owned by Mr Robert Cruz. According to Cruz, VitreArtus used imported glass tesserae which are homogeneously colored stones that will never fade.

Another interesting feature of the Carillon bell tower is the Sinirangan coffee shop at its ground floor. The Sinirangan Coffee Shops is another spot which is becoming increasingly popular.  If you have the chance to climb the tower you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the surroundings of the Baclaran National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

It is indeed refreshing to hear the sounds from this bell tower. In this technological age, the carillon bells help to remind us of a time when bells were used to call worshippers to the church for a communal service, and to announce times of daily prayer, especially the angelus. It helps us to pause and ponder the sense of mystery amidst the frenzied and materialistic rhythm of our daily existence.

sinirangan2

10 Tips to a Trouble-Free Shopping at Baclaran

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After the novena, Baclaran is most famous for cheap and affordable goods. Everything is very affordable from shoes, t-shirts, DVD’s, cell phone accessories, charger, etc. A lot of dresses, pants, shorts, cardigans, beddings, curtains, flowers and any other stuffs that you might need is here. Even trendy clothes which you can’t find in SM Malls or any other Malls, you can find in Baclaran. Many fruits like apples, oranges, bananas can also be found here.

If you are on a budget, Baclaran is the place to go. But shopping is not all that smooth sailing in Baclaran. So here’s 10 tips to a Trouble-Free Shopping at Baclaran.

Tip #1: Drop by the Shrine. Before shopping, first of all, attend the novena and mass or pray. Ask for guidance and protection from God through the prayers of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. After all, all the stores and vendors selling cheap goods in Baclaran wouldn’t be there if not for Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Tip #2: Do not wear any jewelleries, expensive sunglasses and eye-catching attire or accessories. These only attract the bad elements and you will not get any good bargains. So don’t overdress, dress casually.

Tip #3: Make sure all your money, cell phone and any other valuable items are secured. Hold onto your handbag.

Tip #4: Take a few hours to just soak in the hustle and bustle. Be sure to ask price around first, if you want the lowest price for the same item, before deciding where to buy. Yes, you can make good buys on clothes if you know how to haggle.

Tip #5: Bring some face towel because you will get very sweaty brushing shoulders with the crowd and also as a protection from the smoke from vehicles.

Tip #6: On any day, the best time to go around and buy is around 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. The sun is not yet scorching, the streets are not yet so crowded. If you can tolerate the heat, shop anytime from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Tip #7: If you are a tourist, blend in as a local. If you can’t help it and you stand out like a tourist in the crowd ask a local to accompany you.

Tip #8: If you get robbed don’t try to chase them. There are too many small alleys and places to run after they snatch. Besides, they’re all one big family there. You’ll just end up hurt. Go to the nearest police station, and immediately report the incident instead.

Tip #9: In case it rains or it’s too sunny and you forgot to bring umbrellas, cheap umbrellas are available everywhere.

Tip #10: If you get hungry after all the shopping, go to the Sinirangan Coffee Shop at the ground floor of the Carillon Bell Tower of the shrine. You’ll enjoy a nice hot or cold coffee and pastries as well as helping the poor farmers from Eastern Samar.

Top 10 to do list after Attending the Novena and Mass at the Shrine

 

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  1. Light a candle at the candle chapel.
  2. Write a letter of petition or thanksgiving
  3. Buy an icon or a novena booklet of OMPH and let it touch the original icon
  4. Attend the blessing of religious articles at the outside corridor on the top left side of the shrine during Wednesdays and Sundays. Bring your icon, rosaries, novena booklets, crucifix, statue and other religious objects to be blessed. You can also ask blessing for yourself.
  5. Offer masses for your petitions and thanksgiving.  All your intentions are offered in the masses celebrated at the shrine and in many dioceses and parishes all over the Philippines.
  6. Relax and enjoy the fresh air at the shrine surroundings. Sit and admire the trees and plants at the garden. Bring your own food and have a picnic underneath the trees.
  7. Visit and appreciate the wall art on the southern wall of the shrine near the candle chapel. It is the longest wall art in a church composed of murals, mosaic and mixed media art.
  8. Make a wish and drop a coin at our wells and fountains around the shrine. All coins and notes dropped at our fountains and wells goes to the box for the poor which funds many projects benefitting the poor all over the Philippines.
  9. Drink coffee at Sinirangan coffee shop. You can enjoy hot or cold coffee, chocolate and smoothies while at the same time helping the poor farmers of Eastern Samar.
  10. Climb to the top of the Carillon Bell Tower. It is a good exercise and you will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of Baclaran, MOA and the bayside reclamation area. You can even bring your coffee at the top, or better still, ask the Sinirangan staff to bring your order at the top. What else can outshine an experience of drinking coffee while watching the famous sunset of Manila Bay?