The miraculous image of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary for New Evangelization, popularly known as theÂ “Birhen sa Simala”Â Â indeed showed signs of the presence of God during her 40-hour visit to the province last Monday until Wednesday noon.
Frt. Martin of the Congregation of Mary of the Holy Eucharist or the Marian monks declaredÂ they witnessed “divine gestures” during the visit here which was the first outside the province of Cebu. The miraculous image which is based in Simila town in Cebu has become the site of veneration among thousands of pilgrims from all over the country and abroad.
He said the invitation of the St. Joseph Cathedral under Msgr. Jeffrey Malanog was the first granted outside Cebu province.
An estimated crowd of devotees was placed at 30,000 during the visit as they took turns to venerate the miraculous image inside the St. Joseph Cathedral. An aerial shot showed the devotees lining up around the Cathedral premises reaching as far down the road leading the Causeway Drive and winding up againÂ to Plaza Rizal. Devotees were seen 24 hours during the stint of the image stay here.
Fr. Julian Lupot who coordinated the activity said the marshal from Simala recorded the most number of “divine gestures” during the visit of the image in Bohol. They saw the Blessed Virgen shed tears three times, the first of which was when they left Simala, during the dawn rosary along Tagbilaran City streets and when the image was boarded on a motorized boat back to Cebu Wednesday noon.
The tears, according to Frt. Martin were “tears of joy,” never seen in the visits to other Cebu parishes except the one in Bogo, Cebu.
Aside from the tears which rolled down the face of the Blessed Mother’s image, devotees saw a “dancing sun” when the image arrived at the causeway drive shortly before nightfall last Monday. It was a spectacular sight with the sun coming in and out of the horizon.
Fr. Lupot toldÂ the ChronicleÂ that those “phenomenon” that happened in Bohol during the visit were all “divine gestures” or celestial signs which are manifestations of the presence of God in the area where the image was brought.
The priest clarified they are not in the position to declareÂ the phenomenon asÂ “miracle.”
It is just some “kati-ngalahan” which drew love and faith to Jesus, the son of the Blessed Mother.
Fr. Lupot, during an interview over dyRD joined the parishioners Â in expressing elation to the visit of the image of the Birhen sa Simala here.