After nearly 400 years, “La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc” went home to her original family in Japan’s city of Nagasaki, CBCP News reported on March 13, 2019.
Bishop Renato Mayugba of Laoag met with Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki on March 12 and presented him with a gift: a small replica of the image of La Virgen Milagrosa.
The archbishop is expected to enthrone the image in the Nagasaki cathedral or display it in a museum dedicated to the hidden Japanese Christians in Nagasaki.
“I’m also here promoting devotion to Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc-Nagasaki. Very warm welcome by the descendants of the hidden Christians,” Mayugba said.
Contained in a box, the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary was found floating on the shores between the Ilocos towns of Badoc and Sinait in 1620 along with the image of crucified Christ.
Fray Pedro Vivar, OSA, chronicled the discovery in 1764 and the report is extant in the Augustinian archives in Valladolid, Spain.
In his documentation, Vivar wrote that the icons came from the hidden Japanese Christians who jettisoned the religious image into the sea to escape iconoclasm and for them to avoid persecution.
The image of “La Virgen Milagrosa” was enshrined in the “Visita” of Badoc which became the house of the Virgin in the next 400 years.
Thousands of Ilocanos and devotees all over the Philippines come to Badoc seeking Our Lady’s intercession.
Bishop Mayugba’s visit in Nagasaki was expected as the starting point of a relationship between the Diocese of Laoag and the Archdiocese of Nagasaki with “La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc” as the link.
By the mandate of the Holy See, the image was pontifically crowned last May 31, 2018, by Cardinal Luís Antonio Tagle of Manila.
Last February 5, the church of Badoc was declared as a Minor Basilica, also by the mandate of the Vatican, with the presence of Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda of Osaka.
In his message, Cardinal Maeda said that there are so many links between the Catholicism in the Philippines and Japan, citing Madonna of Badoc as an example.
After the Japan visit of Bishop Mayugba, replicas of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc will also be brought to Christuskirche in Heilbronn, Germany on May 25 and to Los Angeles, California during summer this year.
Another replica will also be enshrined in the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana, the National Church of the Filipinos in Rome and the Titular Church of Cardinal Maeda, later this year.