700 attend Peñafrancia celebration on Norfolk Broads

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700 attend Peñafrancia celebration on Norfolk Broads

Around 700 devotees attended the eighth annual celebration of Our lady of Peñafrancia’s religious festivities which culminated with a High Mass in the church grounds of St Helen’s Catholic Church at Hoveton, Norfolk, on Sunday, September 16.

This is the second year in a row that the Mass was held in the church grounds.

Fr John Villarete, SDV, of the Diocese of Birmingham led the faithful in honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary assisted by Rev Bill Dimelow, a deacon from Our Lady of Saint Walstan’s Church in Costessey, Norwich (the home of Our Lady of Peñafrancia).

In his sermon, Fr Villarete exhorted the congregation from across East Anglia and nearby areas, to be one with Mother Mary or “INA”. He coined an acronym from this year’s theme INA (Imitate Mary, Now and Always) describing Mary as the model of sterling character, worthy to be imitated.

Furthermore she is the first and best disciple of Jesus Christ by putting God in her life first and foremost.

“Mary gave us Jesus and it is from her that we received Jesus, the one who unlocked for us the gate of Paradise,” added Fr Villarete. He urged the devotees to give Mother Mary respect and honour, stating that when someone pay homage to her Jesus feels happy. Moreover, he urged devout Catholics to carry with them Blessed Virgin Mary, now and always.

“She is the star who will guide and protect us from sin and the devil who cause harm.  There is no pain and eternal sufferings if one is a true friend of Mary.”

The celebration was organised by Tribu Bicolandia, Marian devotees from Norwich whose mission is to continue and spread the devotion to our Lady of Peñafrancia.

For more details about the celebration and the devotion, please visit their website: www.tribubicolandia.org

Pictures courtesy of Marinel Veloso Taylor. See more here.