Ross Belle Santos-Balatbat
Members of the Peñafrancia Devotees Association in Macau (PDAM) gathered every night from the 10th to 18th at Saint Augustine Church in Macau for the traditional novenas to the Divino Rostro (The Holy Face of Jesus) and to the Our Lady of Peñafrancia, carefully observing government restrictions on mass gatherings. At 11 AM on 19th September, around 300 parishioners attended the Thanksgiving Mass for the Peñafrancia Festival.
Leading the devotees were were the couple Mr. Jun and Mrs. Melba Salao. Bro. Jun admitted that while the pandemic continues to be a threat to public health, “it is more important to celebrate the Peñafrancia Festival in solemn thanksgiving.” In consonance with this year’s theme “Sharing the Gift of Faith in the Spirit of the Faithful Obedience of Mary and Joseph,” Jun’s personal spiritual journey became more meaningful and he realized that “in order to fulfill God’s purpose for his life, he has to grow” and that “in order to grow I may need to change.” The Lord through Mary and Joseph is leading him to a more authentic practice of faith. (Photos by Ross Belle Santos-Balatbat)