By Sem. Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban
December 13, 2018 | Hagonoy, Bulacan
Last December 13, the Sub-Parish of St. Monica of Tagaste, in Sta. Monica, Hagonoy, Bulacan under the National Shrine and Parish of St. Anne celebrated the feast of St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr. Devotion to St. Lucy, considered as as secondary patroness of the barrio community prospered through the prayer group formed by locals particularly from the Manlapig family in the town. A Eucharistic celebration was held in the centuries-old chapel at 9 in the morning led Msgr. Vicente Amado B. Manlapig, a retired priest of the Diocese of Malolos and National Shrine and Parish of St. Anne attached priest Fr. Jose Arturo Batac as concelebrant.
St. Lucy, a woman of faith
In his homily during the celebration, Manlapig, a Hagonoeño priest from the barrio reflected on the qualities that made Sta. Lucia (St. Lucy in Filipino) one of the most revered saints in the town. “Sta. Lucia was a woman of faith for she not only kept the will of God in her heart. She also acted it out. She lived what God wanted for her to be. she lived as a witness to God’s love.”He added, “Among us devotees of Sta. Lucia in Hagonoy, we seem to approach her intercession because of her prayer for eyesight. St. Lucy is after all the patroness against blindness. Yet for a woman of faith like her, we are also called to see more than this. There must be more more to it: the gift of the Holy Spirit to see and perceive through our eyes of faith the wonderful works of God (Mirabilia Dei), his creation, the work of salvation through the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity.
The Sight of God’s Abiding Love
Reflecting on the way Sta. Lucia saw Christ’s love, he said, “St. Lucy died forChrist because of her obedience. It is that obedience and humility to do the will of the Father that allowed her to recognize the love of God. So it is the same for us.If we simply pray and be devoted yet are not willing to do change and to live out one’s faith through acts of charity and care and concern for others, we do not follow Sta. Lucia’s example.” “Let us ask Sta. Lucia for a deeper grace of sight thatGod’s abiding love for us will grow to a perfect love that will outpour to a greater love to our neighbors. Sta. Lucia, let our lives be a light to lead others to God.”,he added.