MANILA — The Catholic faithful of Ozamis City are happy that the image of Señora de Triunfo de Ozamis, which was lost in 1975, was recently found in Makati City.
According to Ozamis Archbishop Martin Jumoad, the statue, believed to be the missing image from the province, has resurfaced in an auction at The Peninsula Manila Hotel.
He said the centuries-old image was bought by a certain JV Esposo and that the latter is willing to return it to the province.
“Kay JV, maraming pong salamat na bukas loob at talagang (To JV, a lot of thanks for his kindness and really) freely he will return the image to the Archdiocese of Ozamis. Sa mga tao naman dito sa Ozamis, sila po ay natutuwa na babalik na po ang 1756 image (As for the people here in Ozamis, they are happy that the 1756 image will finally return),” he said in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas.
“‘Yung imahe nagpunta dito noong 1756 kaya natutuwa sila at marami ang naluluha nang mapanood ang (The image came here in 1756, that’s why they are happy and many even cried when they saw the) episode sa (on) GMA (Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo),” Jumoad added.
The image was placed at the altar of Virgin of the Fort when it arrived in Ozamis in 1756, Jumoad said.
The prelate said the image is set to be brought back to Ozamis on December 8, when there would be a procession from the airport to the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Ozamis and finally to its original home at the Virgin of the Fort.
“From the very beginning in 1756, doon siya talaga sa shrine malapit sa dagat (it was really placed there near the sea). There was a time it was placed…the image was brought into the cathedral. Then, later on, it was lost, yung replica na lang doon (it was just then the replica), carved on the wall of the fort. So ‘yun ang pinupuntahan ng mga tao (It’s what the people go to) since 1976. Pero ang lugar niya talaga doon sa fort. So ang plano parang ilagay sa taas para i-secure lang talaga (But its place is really there at the fort. So the plan is apparently to put it higher to really secure it),” Jumoad said.
The altar of the Virgin of the Fort was established in 1755, where an image of the Blessed Mother is chiseled on the wall, facing the sea.
The Nuestra Señora de Triunfo or Our Lady of Triumph is believed to be miraculous and visited by pilgrims every 16th of July and 8th of December (Feast of Immaculate Conception).
It also serves as the guide to fishermen of Panguil Bay.
The archdiocese has 43 priests, who administer 22 parishes. The province has a population of 600,000 people, 70 percent of which are Roman Catholics. PNA-northboundasia.com