In Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, which imposingly standing in front of the plaza or town square of Jaro is the enshrined old statue of Nuestra Señora De La Candelaria or Our Lady of Candles. The townsfolk proves that the image is miraculous and countless of help, graces and blessings has been bestowed to the devotees.
Long time ago when the Spaniards set foot in the shores of Iloilo, some fisherman netted a hard object in the shores of Iloilo river. What they saw is a statue of Our Blessed Virgin, as high as one foot. The fishermen attempted to carry the image but it was so heavy.
In just a short span of time, the news spread. The people crowded the area. They plan of bringing the statue in a nearby church no matter what efforts they do to carry it nothing happens.
At last they decided to carry the image to the cathedral of Jaro. It was a surprise that if awhile ago ten men helped to carry the statue without any progress, now only one fisherman is carrying the statue easily. The image is enshrined in Jaro Cathedral.
After it was done, eventually there were so many things that took place. Allegedly, the image frequently disappears from its shrine in the church especially if its too early in the morning. Many have said that they often see a beautiful lady with an unusually long hair giving a bath to her child in the old artesian well formerly located in the middle of the Jaro plaza or town square.
Another miracle took place few years before the war. The incident was witnessed by many people.
The whole place of Our Blessed Virgin is so dark. After a few days, there is a sudden brightness in the site of the image when no one touched and arranged it. Another miracle is this: the once foot long image grows taller and bigger to its present size and a lush vine grows up around the place. The vines became the center of attention and considered to possess miraculous cure to any illness.
This is the patroness of Jaro and the entire Western Visayas. On her feast day, February 2 the candles were blessed, the light symbolizes the brightness of faith.
The new throne of Our Lady of Candles was made in 1980 before Pope John Paul II arrived in Jaro.
Flickr courtesy of Mic Cal