‘Palapak’, healing during town’s festival
The town of Leganes was again be flooded with devotees and the sick who want to be healed during the Saad Festival, feast of St. Vincent Ferrer last April 5.
Considered as a Jaro Archdiocesan Shrine, the St. Vincent Ferrer Church located at the Poblacion of Leganes, is home to the famous “palapak”, a healing tradition of pressing the image of the saint on a person or his/her things.
The word “palapak” means “to step on” or “press on”.
Romela Toledo, 43, a municipal employee of San Enrique town and a resident of Sta. Barbara town, travels an hour from her town to Leganes every Sunday in order to hear mass at the shrine as part of her devotion after the saint healed her son.
“It was August 2003 when I gave birth to my son. He was confined in the nursery intensive care unit of St. Paul's Hospital because of blood infection. He was hospitalized for two months. Every week, he had to undergo platelet transfusion,” she said.
“One day, a nurse attending to my son told me to have his T-shirt blessed and ‘palapakan’ by the image of St. Vincent Ferrer. She said that it is miraculous and it heals the sick,” she added.
Toledo followed suit by attending a mass at the shrine and subjected her son’s T-shirt to “palapak”. She placed the shirt under her son’s pillow.
“Since then, his conditioned kept on improving.
Up to now, we hear mass every Sunday at the St. Vincent Ferrer Church. My son comes with me and he knows that St. Vincent Ferrer healed him,” she said.
The boy will be 10 years old this coming August.
St. Vincent Ferrer, a Spaniard, was born in 1350, became a Dominican friar, and was canonized in 1458.
According to The Life of St. Vincent Ferrer (http://olrl.org/lives/ferrer.shtml), his father dreamt of a preacher who told him that he will have a son who will be famous. His mother was also told by a blind woman that she will bear a child who would someday restore her sight, which he did many years later.
Miracles of healing a lame woman, raising of a rich woman from the dead, raising from the dead of a child killed by his mother, saving a child from a house on fire, and healing of an injured person, were attributed to him.
“If you have faith in God, things will be easier for you,” Toledo said.* (Marie Katherine Villalon)