A popular Marian shrine in an immigrant enclave in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — In the Outer Sunset District, a burgeoning melting pot of old and new immigrants from Europe and Asia can be found one of this city’s bigger Catholic churches, the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. Originally built in 1925, it had to be rebuilt due to the growing number of parishioners. At its rebirth in 1965 emerged a tall and imposing structure that can 1,200 of the faithful.
In 2007, unknown to many, an important Marian shrine was installed within its portals. Past the baptismal font on its left flank, devotees are greeted by the bigger than life image of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
Right beside it is the Marian Shrine. The narrow vestibule is lined with the different images of the Blessed Virgin. On its backdrop is a tall mosaic image of Our Lady of Ireland, representing the earlier parishioners of the church.
The centerpiece of the altar is a rare image of the Santa Maria Bambinella or the Holy Infant Mary, flanked by framed images of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Our Lady of Fatima.
Surrounding the altar are representations of Mother Mary, starting from Our Lady of Sheshan on the left, followed by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Compassion and Protection, Our Lady of Lourdes, The Mystical Rose, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Antipolo, Our Lady of Manaoag, Our Lady Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, Our Lady of La Vang, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Vailankanni, Our Lady of America and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
This Holy Week, the image of Our Lady of Sorrow is at the front and center of the shrine for devotees to meditate on her seven sorrows.
This Good Friday, April 14, a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows starts at 5 p.m. all through 11a.m. Holy Saturday at the Flanagan Center, which is below the church. Entrance is through the school yard on Lawton Street. Via Matris starts at 10 a.m.
This shrine was humbly established through the dedication and perseverance of a handful of Filipino Marian devotees led by Ester Aure-Novero. Through the years, the number of Marian images grew through the donations of different families from different ethnicities.
As one can see, two of the Philippines’ celebrated Marian images, Our Lady of Antipolo and Our Lady of Manaoag are represented here. Many miracles have been attributed to them.
Lately the shrine has been reported to have had some mystical occurrences, and devotees’ have been flocking to it, particularly this Holy Week, to find solace, renew their devotion, request healing or pray for peace.
Fr. Arnold, Zamora, the church’s Filipino priest the past eight years, takes the surge of interest in the shrine as a manifestation of the faithful’s desire for healing and world peace.
The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church is at 1555 39th Avenue Corner Lawton in San Francisco, California. https://holynamesf.org
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.