Our Lady of the Rule Parish
Our Lady of the Rule
Also known as the Nuestra
Origin of the Devotion to Our Lady of the Rule Señora Virgen De Regla was the title given to our Blessed Virgin Mary by the natives of Cebu who believe that the prosperity they enjoy is a blessing achieved through the strength of her maternal intercession.
The devotion to Our Lady of the Rule was started by St. Augustine, the bishop of Hippo In Northern Africa. He has carved an image of Our Lady by using his own hands which was one of the relics that has survived the destruction of the city of Hippo. Upon Augustine's death, the monks fled to Spain, taking the image with them. In Spain, the image has done miracles and survived the destruction and pillage of the Moors, because of this, the devotion to Our Lady rapidly spread.
1330, the Virgin appeared to an Augustinian monk and instructed him to go to the city of Cadiz and look for a cave where the image had been hidden away. He was instructed to dig up and found a hidden underground altar. There, the statue of Our Lady of the Rule has been permanently enshrined.
The devotion was transported to the Philippines in the 18th century, when the Augustinian Order was given control over the parish of Opon,(now,Lapu-Lapu City,Cebu]. The people of Cebu first saw the picture of the Virgen de la Regla in 1735, when the parish priest , Francisco Avalle, showed it to them. The people of Opon instantly developed a liking for the new patroness.
The Virgen de Regla of Cebu was canonically crowned on November 27, 1954 during the First Marian Congress of the Archdiocese of Cebu. The Our Lady of the Rule image carved from the trunk of dark Philippine hardwood, was installed at the main altar of Our Lady of the Rule Church in Lapu-Lapu City. The church was under the administration of the Agustinians from 1730 to 1929. The Dutch congregation took over the church from 1929 onwards.
Prayer of Intercession to Our Lady of the Rule
Prayers before Our Lady mostly asked for the protection of women and children from violence and for their purification. Devotion is held on the third week of November. The occasion was participated by devotees in Cebu and Cebuanos abroad. She is acknowledged for the great role she plays in their lives as the intercessor, a special privilege she hold as a Mother of God.
Undocumented Testimonials and Miracles of Our Lady of the Rule
- Cruz Lauron, an Opon resident, suffered from a disease which caused him to lose a large amount of blood. He was bedridden for a long time. When Fr. Avalle placed the picture in the church in 1735, He instructed to lit two candles before the image, when the candles were lighted, he was immediately healed.
- In 1736, the town of Opon was spared from the attacks of the locusts which swept across Cebu. The locusts only at the harmful in
- sects that infested the crops. This incident happened several times.
- Maria Ramos who has a cerebral palsy, suffered from terrible seizures, almost lost died in one episode. In 1912, She was brought to the Opon church where she crawled up the altar to kiss the statue of Our Lady, after she has done this, she stood up without support and walked out the door, to everyone's astonishment.
- De Regla Parish Church is the receptacle of a cloth relic that is believed to have belonged to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This relic was a gift to the church frm Fr. Ambrosio Agius, Apostolic delegate to the Philippines in 1909. It is the object of veneration of pilgrims who come to Cebu. Another item of interest is Our Lady's pair of diamond earrings donated by remedios Cuenco. In 1920, Cuenco's daughter had an acute abdominal disorder. She made a promise to give large amount of tithes should her child attain remedy through Mary's intervention. Her wish was granted and the pair of donated articles has become part of Our Lady's standard decorations.
- Another story runs that a cova used to run from one end of the town plaza to the church basement. The cova is not existing anymore. Pilgrims used to crawl through the maze as a form of penitence, and appear on the other end with feelings of spiritual relief and the granting of favors asked. One such case was a Cebuana matron who has no child and was paralytic for 15 years, after her Opon pilgrimage, she was able to walk, and a year after, gave birth to a child with a complexion as dark as De Regla's.