Our Lady of Namacpacan Devotion in Hampton Roads, Virginia

By Dr. Manuel Hipol (CUFOT, Chairman)

I was in High School when I first heard from my sister about the Miraculous Virgin Mary in Luna, La Union. Many years have passed by until I finally graduated from the Manila Central University. However, after all those many years of my schooling, I have not forgotten the Our Lady of Namacpacan (OLN). Every time I passed by the town of Luna, it always reminded me about this miraculous icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

In the summer of 2008, we decided to take a family vacation in the Philippines. At this time, we decided to visit Vigan, Ilocos Sur the hometown of my wife Rose. Since we were passing the town of Luna, we scheduled to pay homage and respect to our Lady of Namacpacan, my childhood dream. As we are coming close to the town, I saw the beautiful St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral where Our Lady of Namacpacan was enshrined. I was thrilled and as I enter the church, I saw the beautiful statue of The Blessed Mother. She stands seven feet tall, enshrined at the right side of the cathedral. She was beautiful, wearing a light blue and white garment looking at me with her two extended hands by her sides. As if saying, come feel at home and enjoy our warm Ilocandia hospitality. As I drew closer to her, I saw her radiant face clearly, her soulful eyes as if telling me something. I held her hands and prayed fervently for my family, my friends and for world peace. While standing in front of her, as if there was a divine force telling me to spread her devotion in America. I thank her that finally, after forty-six years I was able to visit our Lady of Namacpacan with my family. We stayed at the cathedral for almost an hour. I spoke with the parish priest, Rev. Father Mario Valdez and he told me about the miracles she made. I also bought some relics and reading materials about the famous Blessed Virginia of Luna, La Union.

The initial organizational meeting about the Novena of Our Lady of Namacpacan was on December 1, 2007 at the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia. The official name of the organization is LADY OF NAMACPACAN ASSOCIATION in AMERICA (LONAA). The purposes of the organization are:
1. To start a Novena Prayer for the devotees of Our Lady of Namacpacan in Hampton Roads, VA and in America.
2. To encourage awareness of Our Lady of Namacpacan to the Ilocanos and the FilipinoAmericans in the USA.
3. To extend help in the construction of the Pilgrims Inn of OLN in Luna, La Union and its maintenance.
4. To help seminarians who are in need to finish their priesthood vocation. This historic meeting was attended by families and friends consisting of Drs. Manny & Rose Hipol, Oscar & Teresa Delostrinos, Roger & Lily Reyes, Teddy & Ampy Nerona, Romeo & Linda Octavo, Henry & Ofelia Bucsit, Denia Jove, Edith Reyes, Mila Fermin, Mila Dacumos and Mila Juris Marcelo.

LONAA celebrates its Feast Day or Fiesta during the month of November of each year immediately after a series of Novena Prayers every Sunday of the week. The highlight of the celebration was the renewal of marriage vows to commemorate the first Miracle of Jesus Christ during the Wedding in Cana. Through the request of his Blessed Mother of Jesus, he turned the Jars of water into wine during the wedding reception to avoid embarrassment of the bride and groom.

LONAA is governed by its own Constitution and By-Laws. Since its formation, it remains as an active member of the Council of the United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater (CUFOT) and duly supports the mission and goals of CUFOT.

A brief history of OUR LADY OF NAMACPACAN; Our Lady of Namacpacan, commonly called by the Ilocanos as “APO BAKET”, was enshrined at the St. Catherine of Alexandria Parrish in Luna, La Union. It was in 1671 when an image of the Blessed Mary was brought along the shores of Darigayos (now Luna). She was eventually venerated as our Lady of Namacpacan from her miracles, by a special decree of Pope John XXIII. She was canonically crowned on November 24, 1959 by the Vatican.

CUFOT Member Organziations

[*] indicates a founding member of CUFOT

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