A LITTLE nipa hut serving as a chapel in Barrio San Miguel, Manila in 1851, housed the image of Nuestra Señora del Rosario – Our Lady of the Rosary – which is venerated by the villagers.
Miraculously, although a huge fire raged all around the small hermitage on April 16, 1854, consuming all the constructions in its path, the hut and the grass that surrounded it remained completely unscathed. Witnesses testified in writing that as the fire surrounded the capillarity (small chapel), he died suddenly; even his grass has not lost its freshness. People picked the grass, thinking it was miraculous.
Investigating priests diligently questioning witnesses attested in writing to the miracle, to which the Archbishop of Manila subscribed.
Immediately, Governor General Manuel Pavia y Lacy ordered the construction of a stone chapel in place of the hut.
Fearing that the stone chapel in the Barretto lumber yard would collapse, in the late 1940s Doña Florencia Barretto had the present concrete structure built.
Although Our Lady of the Rosary’s robes may change over time, she is the original image venerated from 1851 to the present day.
Doña Florencia’s granddaughter, Carmencita Legarda Cu-Unjieng, is the capillarityis the current keeper.
Commemorating the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, novena prayers begin on April 16. As it is a Black Saturday, however, the novena will have to be prayed privately. But the novena masses will take place the next day, April 17, Easter Sunday, at 9 a.m. On the following days from April 18 to 23, novena masses will begin at 5:30 p.m. until the following Sunday, April 24, at 10 a.m.
the capillarity is open to those who wish to participate in the masses of the novena.
To reach the White Chapel, going north over Ayala Bridge, turn left at its foot onto Carlos Palanca Street (formerly Echague). The White capillarity is 200 yards on the right at 505 Carlos Palanca St. in Manila. — Joan Orendain