“I know you have been praying for me, but I never asked to be healed. In the process of my medication, I felt I was being lifted by wings.
“For two months I had been undergoing radiation by chemotherapy for a swelling in my kidney. When my kidney could take it no longer, I was sent away from the hospital and had to undergo oral chemotherapy.
“I decided to stop the therapy for a month now against the advise of my doctors who said I should not stop because the tumor is getting smaller.
“Two days ago I had a CT Scan. Nawala na ang tumor. The doctors kept on turning the CT Scan films to look for the tumor where it used to be but it was no longer there.
“Ina has intervened . . . there is no other explanation . . . .so that I could reach the Tercentenary. I am very grateful to Ina, that is why I am intent on giving the best there is to give for the Tercentenary. I did not expect that this would happen.
“In front of you —- I accept that Ina has given me an extraordinary favor.”
This, the testimony Most Rev. Leonardo Z. Legazpi, O.P. D.D., Archbishop of Caceres, shared as his closing statement in the press conference held at the Archbishop’s Palace in Naga City on Aug. 23.
He said when he first came to Caceres in 1983, there is no Marian festivity better than La Naval. The Archbishop is from Bulacan. Now he has many beautiful words about the Ina of the Bikolanos.
Earlier in the conference, Legazpi cited his observation that anywhere Bikolanos go, they introduce the Virgin of Peñafrancia to other people and communities.
Bikolanos speak of the origin of the devotion, talk on the development of the devotion through the years, and share what they know about the faith with their new-found community.
The Archbishop said that the Peñafrancia fiesta is the only religious and regional fiesta that has not been affected by commercialization. The Sinulog as well as the Sto. Niño festivities did not fare better.
He said it is his desire to make the Peñafrancia festivities a celebration that is religious in character. He said the initiatives of the clergy as well as the lay people to preserve and maintain the religiosity of the festivity are noteworthy and must be kept strong and sturdy in the coming years.
“Imagine Bikol without the Peñafrancia — Bikol will be not as singular as it is today,” he said.
The Archbishop publicly appeals to all the faithful to help make the Tercentenary a singular and unrepeatable event — to be partners in the Tercentenary. There is only one Tercentenary in the lifetime of the faithful in Caceres today. It will never come again.
It is a challenge for all the faithful and devotees of Ina to keep this event an inheritance to be passed on the generations to come, the Archbishop said.