Palapak: miraculous healing during Leganes' town fiesta
The town of Leganes will once again be filled with devotees and the sick who want to be healed during the feast of St. Vincent Ferrer, April 5. (Note: celebration is moved to a later date if the Holy Week takes place in March)
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, used to travel an hour from her town Sta. Barbara 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 a 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 condition kept on improving.
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. (Kathy Villalon)