“Little Miracles of ‘Virgin of the Rule’ in Opon”
A long time ago, the great St. Augustine had carved a wonderful statue of the Virgin Mary in North Africa and then named it as ‘Virgin of the Rule’ because he made orders or rules in honor and dedication to the queen (Cuyos, 2005). This statue is wearing a handmade stitched satin gown which covers her whole body but these dresses changes from time to time because devotees would always donate gowns for the holy queen. “It has a long, dark, curly hair flowing down her shoulders” while the Santo Niño is wrapped around her arms and she is wearing a golden crown shaped like a glowing sun, this statue of Mary has dark skin because it’s made of wood and the color was also intended by St. Augustine for Africans who would be the first devotees of the patroness are mostly dark skinned as well and so this would give them sense of closeness to her (Mediano, 2007).
According to Father Stephen Cuyos (2005), an Augustinian monk named Father Francisco Avella brought the painting of the Black Virgin here in Opon and since the popularity of the Holy Queen was already wide spread in other countries, devotees of the ‘Virgin of the Rule’ in the Philippines grew quickly. This faith of the people to ‘Virgin of the Rule’ became even stronger when drought came to other islands except for Opon that was left completely unharmed and there was also an event when swarm of insects refrained in destroying their crops after a novena was said to the Virgin. Cruz Lauron is a native man in the island who has encouraged people to carve a statue of the Black Virgin to thank her for curing him from a fatal disease and saving Opon from these tragic incidents. Oponganons have carved it exactly the same as what Saint Augustine did and later naming this statue as ‘Birhen Sa Regla’ using local language. This is because, ‘Regla’ in Filipino means menstrual period that follows certain rule or time and so these have been preferred by some people...
References: De Anda, "Viva Señora Birhen sa Regla!” – At Last…" (2009) Available at: http://withonespast.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/%E2%80%9Cviva-senora-birhen-sa-regla%E2%80%9D-at-last/, Date Accessed: October 15, 2011
Parco, Bernadette "Opon’s ‘Birhen sa Regla’ flotilla sails today" (2006) Available at: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/cebudailynews/news/view/20061111-31938/Opon%92s_%91Birhen_sa_Regla%92_flotilla_sails_today, Date Accessed: October 15, 2011
Cuyos, Stephen "The Parish of Virgen De La Regla" (2005) Available at: www.stephencuyos.com Date Accessed: October 15, 2011
Mediano, May Toling "Greetings to Oponganons sa USA (OSA) Annual Fiesta!" (2007) Available at: www.Bisayabulletin.com Date Accesed:October 15, 2011
Herosimo, Marissa (28 years old) Date Interviewed: October 16, 2011
Maglangit, Elinita (46 years old) Date Interviewed: October 16, 2011
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