Sunday, May 8, 2016
The Miracles Of The Our Lady Of Oton
According to history, the Parish of Oton, is the third to be established in Panay but the first to choose Our Virgin Mary to be its patron saint.
Tradition foretells that Mother Mary herself chooses Oton who name was deeply honored and venerated by the locals.
One day, a motor banca landed in Oton and included in the cargo is the image of Virgin Mary and Santo Niño or Holy Child Jesus. The crew brought the image to the church. When they return to the banca the engine won't start. They thought there is some problem with the engine but upon checking it, they could not find any damage. No matter what they do, they could not make the banca move. In an instance the captain ordered to take the Santo Niño in the church and replace it with the image of Virgin Mary. After they did it, it was a wonder they can easily move the boat. This explains why the patron saint of Oton was the beloved Mother of God while in Tigbauan is the Santo Niño.
There is a similar story to that belief.
When an earthquake named Lady Caycay struck Panay Island and destroyed the church of Oton in 1948 and the image of Virgin Mary was lowered, a group of friars decided to transfer the patron saint to Tigbauan while the Santo Niño of Tigbauan will be transferred to Oton. They helped carry and put in the banca the statue of the Virgin Mary to be brought to Tigbauan but upon reaching Tigbauan they could not be able to unload the image so they continued to other towns but the same thing happened so they decided to bring it back to Oton. When they are near the town of Oton, the boat runs smooth and slow and the engine really stopped and doesn't want to leave.
It is so strange why the Image is so light and bearable when it was carried back to the church of Oton? It's really a miracle according to the townspeople of Oton because the Virgin Mary doesn't want to leave Oton because it is near to her heart.
There are more things that happened that tells about the miracles of Our Virgin Mary of the church of Oton.
In 1944, during the Japanese Occupation, the Japanese are guarding in the middle of the plaza fronting the church. It was evening then and they are patiently watching the approaching enemies when all of a sudden they saw a very beautiful lady with long hair, dressed in a floor-length white and blue clothes and it is coming closer to them. Many people saw it and the expression and aura of the lady is sad. She said to the Japanese: "Have mercy on the people, leave this place and return to where you came from." When they look up to the towers of the church the image of the Virgin Mary, it was not there. Everyone said that for certain the lady who came up to the Japanese is the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Eventually indeed, the Americans came, saved the people and liberated Panay Island from the Japanese Imperial Forces.
It was reported that a tidal wave will hit their area. Oton will surely sink and flooded because it is near the sea. The people are already preparing to leave the area but when the night time came, when the giant wave is ready to hit the town of Oton, a lot of people saw a lady with a long hair wearing a white and blue dress running towards the ocean outstretching her arms open wide and all of a sudden the giant wave goes back to the ocean never smashing the town of Oton. When this took place, many noticed that the statue of the Virgin Mary in the tower of the church is missing. It was believed that Our Lady of Immaculate Conception helped the townsfolk. So the people came in front of the church and tearfully thanking the patron saint of Oton.
One early morning, a dawn after the fiesta celebration of the town of Arevalo, month of January 1948, there's a sudden jolt so powerful that it caused the destruction of the very beautiful and imposing church of Oton. The miracle which took place there is this: all parts of the church fell to the ground except the tower which stood the statue of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. It took a long time before the image of our Virgin Mary was changed.
Truly the image is miraculous!