Inquirer Libre - Davao - - PANGUNAHING PAHINA - By Nico Alconaba

IT will be a grand homecoming for the long lost image of the Nuestra Señora de Triunfo dela Cruz of Ozamiz on December 8 alongside the feast day of the Immaculate Conception.

Stolen from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in 1975, the "Birhen sa Kota", image was discovered in an exhibit of Marian images at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City last October.

Its owner decided to return the image to the Catholic Church.

Since its disappearance, devotees had been flocking its replica, a blue and white carved image of the Señora de Triunfo on the wall of the fort facing the Panguil Bay.

Devotees visit the replica at the fort, lighting up candles in honor of the Blessed Mother. Catholic faithful also offer prayers before leaving and arriving the city.

The image was first housed in a chapel built inside a Spanish Fort in 1755. The fort served as an outpost to prevent the entry of pirates.

Celebrating its feast day on July 16, it also coincided with the Lady of Mount Carmel's feast day. The image was then repainted brown to conform to the color of Mount Carmel.

Birhen sa Kota's feast day is also the feast of the Triumph of the Cross, an old Spanish feast commemorating the victory of Spain over the Muslims.

The image was transferred to the old parish church in 1876. It was only located to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in 1955.

A grand procession will take place en route Ozamiz city to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

THE image of the Nuestra Señora de Triunfo dela Cruz of Ozamiz Photos by Maria Lucy Cabanlit

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