Nuestra Señora del Buensuceso de Parañaque
In celebration of her feast day today!


Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, also known as Our Lady of the Good Event, is a statue of the Virgin Mary enshrined at the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew in Parañaque City, Metro Manila in the Philippines.

The history of Our Lady of the Good Event in Parañaque was based on the writings of Father Nicolás de San Pedro, O.S.A., the vicar of St. Andrew's Parish (now the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew).

The Augustinian fathers brought the image from Spain in 1580 as a gift from the King to Filipino converts. The Augustinians stayed in Palanyag (now Parañaque) and established St. Andrew's Parish that year. The image was left untouched and covered with dust until Catig, a poor native from Don Galo, saw this and asked the sacristan if he could take the statue home. The sacristan obliged and Catig enshrined it in his home, lighting candles in its honour.

As Catig lay dying later on, his neighbours called a Fr Juan de Guevarra to administer Last Rites. Upon blessing Catig, Fr. De Guevarra saw the statue standing near the bed and asked if he could buy it for PHP 24 (note: the peso was of higher value during the Spanish Period). Catig initially refused, but then changed his mind, knowing that it would be revered by the people. Fr. De Guevarra took the statue and placed it in his own room after Catig had died.[1]

According to Fr. De Guevarra, he saw the image emit a mysterious light and heard glorious hymns, leading him to conclude the image as being miraculous. Fr. De Guevarra reported the miracle immediately to the Augustinian Superior Fr. Alonzo de Mentrida.

Upon hearing Guevarra's words, de Mentrida ordered that the icon be transported to St. Andrew's church. On August 10, 1625, a great procession was held, and the image was enshrined in the altar.

Not knowing what to call the image of Virgin Mary, Fr. Alonzo asked the other friars to write the name of all the famous titles of the Blessed Mother in Europe on strips of paper and placed them in an urn. A young child was asked to draw the name and for six consecutive times, the title "Our Lady of the Good Event" (Buen Suceso) was picked, so they named the image as such.[2]

Archbishop of Manila Miguel García Serrano and colonial officials based in Manila arrived and venerated the image. Archbishop Serrano is credited with instituting the novena and reconstructing the altar. After the reconstruction, another feast was celebrated on February 22, 1626 attended by townsfolk and those from neighboring provinces.

The image of Our Lady of Good Success was canonically crowned "Patroness of the City of Parañaque" on September 8, 2000 (the Feast of the Nativity of Mary). Many joined in the celebrations aside from parishioners, like local government officials including then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The image was crowned, and the people shouted "¡Viva la Virgen!" before carrying it in procession.[3] Our Lady of Good Success is patroness of the Diocese of Parañaque along with Andrew the Apostle, to whom the cathedral is dedicated. On September 8, 2010, an official replica by Tom Joven was blessed by Msgr. Manuel Gabriel during the solemn High Mass, as were the Book of Sacrifice, the Petition Box and Thanksgiving Box.

On August 10, 2012, celebrating her 387th enthronement anniversary and feast day, a decree from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, with approval of His Excellency, the Most Rev. Jesse E. Mercado, D.D., the Bishop of the Diocese of Parañaque stated that the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew will be the "Diocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso", as delivered by Rev. Fr. Carmelo Estores, after the greeting of the Solemn High Mass.

On her 12th canonical coronation anniversary on September 8, 2012, the Diocese of Parañaque declared Our Lady of the Good Event as the official Patroness of the City of Parañaque. The Mass was attended by Parañaque City government officials and lay people.

St. Andrew's Cathedral Parish celebrates two main feasts. From the end of World War II until 2004, it was celebrated on November 29, but since 2005 it is also observed on August 10 to commemorate the image's 1625 enthronement. There is no original feast for the Virgin. A novena in honour of the image is customarily held before the actual feast day, and on the first day, a traslación (procession of an image or relics from one church to another) occurs from Santa Monica Chapel to the cathedral. On the feast day itself, a procession is held at around 16:00 PST followed by a Solemn Mass. A highlight of the procession is the singing of Gozos de la Virgen del Buen Suceso by the Luna hermosa, who serenade the image from a balcony along the route. The procession includes the Dose Estrellas (Twelve Stars) that symbolizes the Twelve Tribes of Israel in the Old Testament of the Bible and the Twelve Apostles in the New Testament. Unfortunately, the current parish priest abolished the activities before the feast day because according to him it's unliturgical. Also, there are people who keep on misinforming the faithful of Paranaque about the Feast of the Virgin.

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A photo from the feast yesterday (from: PD Romero Photography):

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