Virgen de Peñafrancia is the Patroness of the entire Bikol Region in the Philippines.
Here in New Zealand...
The Canaveral-Villanueva's devotion to the Blessed Virgin of Peñafrancia is so deeply rooted that when they migrated to New Zealand, they also brought with them a portrait of Ina. They would pray the nine-day novena and venerate Her during Her feast day in September.
Early morning sometime in 1990, Myrna met Manoy Fred's sister, Lourdes. They were both waiting at a bus stop along Queen Street in the city. As they exchanged pleasantries, Manoy Fred's sister mentioned that her sister in law is also a Bicolana. Excited of the fact that there is another Bicolana in Auckland, Myrna asked for her family name. The mention of Canaveral rang a bell, as Myrna had a co-teacher by the same surname in Naga Parochial School. That night, Myrna did not waste time ringing up the Villanueva's and found out about their ongoing novena to Ina. Upon mention of the novena to Ina, Myrna and her daughter Enna became regulars at the Villanueva's. (The visits were not only limited during the novena prayers; the mother and daughter considered them as their family already).
We invited a few friends for the novena and mass on the feast day. For the next three years, both novenas and masses were at the Villanueva's. They were the yearly hosts to the devotees of Ina.
As the number of devotees increased, it was decided to have the Feast Day mass celebrated at the St. John Vianney Church, although the evening novenas were still held at the Villanueva's.
Every year, the number grew, and this year, we started to have a hermano and hermana mayor.
Roy and Susan Bustenera are this year's hermano and hermana mayor. Nightly novenas are to be held at Bicolano's house, for the first time, enabling their families and houses to be graced by Ina's blessed presence at their abode.
History of Peñafrancia
The Feast Day
Hermano & Hermana Mayor 2001
Bicolanos in New Zealand
Notices (Mga Paisi)
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