(Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan)
Luna, La Union
01 March 2009
Since I decided not to watch to the Grand Fluvial Parade of the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio City, I just decided to hear mass in St. Catherine of Alexandria parish in the town of Luna. The last time I was there was way back in 2006, and it was always a thing for me to check out places I haven’t seen yet whenever I travel, so even though I was alone, I still went. After taking a bus to the town of Balaoan, I took the tricycle to the church. Happy that I arrived just after the last mass - giving me time to take pictures before the next mass commenced.
Some pictures of the church:
The aisle leading to the altar.
The altar, up close.
An image of the Patron Saint.
The town’s patron saint is St. Catherine of Alexandria, but this church is well known as the shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan (Namacpacan was the town’s former name before it was called Luna). According to the Province of La Union’s website, “It was in 1871 when a galleon that came all the eay from Mexico to deliver a statue of the Blessed Virgin to the Immaculate Concepcion Seminary in Vigan, Ilocos sur, stopped by Darigayos to sek cover from the stormy weather. According to traditional accounts, when the storm, is over, the galleon could not proceed to its destination because the sea became rough and unnavigable whenever the crew launched the vessel. They decided to bring the statue to Vigan by land. While making preparations, the statue was brought to the convent. The church at that time was undergoing repairs on the damaged portions brought about by a strong earthquake.
The following morning when the trip to Vigan was commenced, the men could not move the statue from the place where it stood. Fray Camilo Naves, an Augustinian priest, interpreted this as a message that the Blessed Virgin wanted her statue to remain in the parish. Negotiations were made with Church authorities who ordered the statue from Spain. It was agreed that the Catholics from Namacpacan would reimburse all expenses incurred and the parishioners contributed joyously and generously to the extent of selling portions of their fields to raise the amounts. An altar at the northern portio side of the church was constructed to house the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Namacpacan.”
Pictures of Our Lady of Namacpacan:
I wasn’t able to get the schedule of the masses in this church, but for tourists who cannot understand the Ilocano dialect, there’s a mass in english at 10AM. There’s also an adoration chapel outside the main church, and a souvenir shop, if you want to buy some religious stuffs.
*** Jenn ***