The feast day of Our Lady of Penafrancia is celebrated on the third saturday of September in Naga City, Bicol.
The patron Saint of Penafancia is being called INA.
Is the transferring of the miraculous Image of the Virgin, Our Lady of Peñafrancia and of the Divino Rostro to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga City for a Novena and Holy Masses. One the second Friday of September. This begun in 1885.
Novenario to the Our Lady of Peñafrancia
After the Traslacion, the nine-day novena to the Our Lady is held inside or sometimes outside the Cathedral. Millions of devotees come to the Cathedral for the novenario, praying for the divine intercession of Ina to her son, that their prayers be heard and be fulfilled.
The novenario is said to have healed countless devotees and even the Bishop concelebrating the novena mass. The novena centers around Mary’s intercession to Jesus her son as the people pray to Our Lady to help them grew closer in holiness and to strengthen their faith.
Parades and celebrations
On Thursday, the Civic Parade of the Government workers, and different associations, and organizations in Bicol, and the Float Parade that is joined by hundreds of floats, honoring Ina – the Voyadores Grand Parade – is held. This is followed by, in recent years, a street dance competition of schools in the city and the region.
On Friday, the most awaited and the century-old military parade, participated by all High Schools and Colleges in Bicol, including service personnel of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Bureau of Fire Protection, parade in the major streets of Naga City. It is considered to be the longest every parade outside Manila due to its daylong, sometimes reaching nighttime, parade. Dubbed the Bicol Region Military Parade, it is also one of the big highlights of the celebrations, with the Mayor of Naga acting as the reviewing officer, together with retired and active military and police officers and personnel in attendance, together with selected members of the House of Representatives, the Naga City Council and provincial officials. Awards and decorations are handed out at the end of the long parade to the best contingents who marched past.
A fluvial procession at the end of the novena caps the feast. Following a farewell service at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, the image is carried through the streets and then in a pagoda (the Filipino term for a decorated shrine-barge, usually with more than one tier, used in fluvial processions) on its return journey to the minor basilica, where a Pontifical Mass is held. Along the route, people shout “¡Viva La Virgen!” and people wave their handkerchiefs and towels.
The image is escorted by a battalion of male (and sometimes foreigner) devotees, most of them are aboard colorful paddle boats pulling the pagoda and those who are privileged are joining the Lady on the pagoda together with the bishops of Bicol, priests, seminarians, and representatives of the city, provincial and national government and legislature. Tradition holds that if a woman, either a Filipina or foreigner, rides on the pagoda during the September fluvial procession, it will spell disaster for everyone involved.
Festival masses held on the 3rd Sunday of September at the Peñafrancia Minor Basilica mark the official termination of the festivities. Masses are held all day long to accommodate the millions of people attending on such an important day of celebration of Bicol Catholics.