Showing posts with label St. Didacus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label St. Didacus. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Silay's Patron Saint: St. Didacus of Alcala And His Rightful Place In The Altar

The Patron Saint of Silay is San Diego de Alcala (St. Didacus in English) but not much was known about him.  I for one grew up not knowing who San Diego was, except perhaps that he was a friar wearing a brown habit by looking at his huge statue right there in the main altar.  That was how I always remembered it was a small shock to see him relegated to the pulpit at the left side of the church when I came home in 1980 (in his place was a statue of the Risen Christ).  I still wonder to this day how they managed to put poor San Diego inside it.

photo by Antonio Abong
The next parish priest took pity on our patron saint and decided to place him back on an altar niche...the right side altar this time. The tall statue can barely fit though. The picture below is blurry, but you can clearly see that it is still the Risen Christ in the main altar...

Then in 2005, after many consultations and finally putting it to vote, San Diego was back to his rightful place and that is in the main altar.  Of course, there were some dissenting opinions especially in the light of Vatican II...but the San Diego Church was built before Vatican II and the head of the commission of liturgy ruled that the statues or icons of the patron saint in pre-Vatican II churches should be placed in the main altar.

Retrieved from
And the Risen Christ?  Church authorities placed the statue in the the church mortuary which I think is appropriate enough...after all, death brings about eternal life.

But who is San Diego or St. Didacus?  San Diego de Alcala became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis at a very young age and eventually took his solemn vows as a lay brother of the Franciscan Order. It was only in recent years that the parish first began a massive information campaign on San Diego. Researches were done and a play was written about the life of this relatively unknown saint and was shown during the fiesta in 2005.  Prayer stampitas were also given out and people were encouraged to attend the novena masses. All that effort paid off because today the Feast of San Diego is a week long celebration actively participated not only by church volunteers but by the community as well.


Almighty and eternal God, who in Thy wonderful condescension hast chosen the weak of this world top confound the strong, mercifully grant to our lowliness, that through the pious intercession of Thy holy confessor St. Didacus, we may deserve to be raised to eternal glory in heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen