Statement of the Philippine Hierarchy on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary (“LA NAVAL”)

October 7, 1957

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary has more than once given positive proof of her maternal fever and protection to the people of the Philippines.  One of the most striking of these was the series of naval victories whereby a small Philippine squadron, though hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, successfully defended the Islands against enemy attacks in the seventeenth century; victories won, as we may piously believe, through the powerful intercession of the Mother of God.  It is for this reason that the feast we celebrate today has been known since that remote age as La Naval.

What can be more fitting, therefore, than that on this day we should invoke our great Patroness to be propitious to us in an action which, though not martial, is of equal and perhaps of even greater importance to the welfare of our nation?

A few weeks from now we shall go to the polls to elect those whom we wish to conduct our government and deliberate on our laws.  Upon this act of choice will depend in great part whether our government will be well or badly run,  whether the laws which we are pledged to obey will be wise or unwise.  Hence, our first prayer on this day, humbly and confidently offered to God through the hands of His Immaculate Mother, is for abundant light and grace that each and every citizen of our republic may exercise his right to vote, and do so with prudence and courage.

Our second prayer is that no one may dare to interfere in any way with the free and orderly exercise of the right to vote, or prevent the expeditious and accurate computation of the election returns.  May all such subversive efforts to nullify the will of the majority be frustrated by the sleepless vigilance of both public officials and private citizens, united to preserve our sacred liberties!

If these two prayers are answered, as we are confident they will be, we may reasonably hope that our people will entrust their government to those among the candidates who are best qualified for positions of the highest trust.  But it is not enough that those elected to public office should be qualified for it; it is necessary further that they should actually employ their God-given talents to the best interests of the nation.  And so, let our third prayer be for them:  that Our Lady may obtain for them those very special graces which they need in order to steer the Ship of State firmly and safely through whatever storms may lurk in the uncertain future.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despite not out petitions, but in thy goodness and mercy hear and answer us.  Amen.