Nuestra Senora dela Cotta of Cebu, also known as 'Birhen sa Cota sa Sugbo' PDF Print E-mail

Translated from tagalog of a narration by Mr. Louie Nacorda

nuestra_senora_dela_cotta1According to the book by Lutgarda Aviado, entitled "Madonnas of the Philippines," the original image of Nuestra Senora dela Cotta of Cebu, also known as 'Birhen sa Cota sa Sugbo,' was found floating inside a well located in Fort San Pedro, Cebu, around the years 1572-1575. The image is made in the European style (de tallado or Istilo de Europa), details and clothes entirely carved. The venerated image was enshrined in Cota San Pedro. It gained many devotees. The waters from the well were also said to have miraculous powers. Because of healings attributed to Our Lady and the waters, she was given the name Nuestra Senora delos Remedios or 'Mahal na Birhen ng mga lunas'.

In the mid-1900s, the image was transferred to the Cebu Cathedral. A chapel was built to house the venerated image inside the Cathedral. Cebuanos developed a loving devotion to her.

During WW2, the Cathedral was bombed and the original image was lost. Another larger image was made to replace it, but the devotion in the Cathedral died down. Though it flourished in different parts of Cebu.

When Mr. Louie Nacorda read Aviado's book, he suggested to the Fort San Pedro Administrators and to their Counselor Margot Osmena - that he is willing to have a replica made, provided that it be permanently venerated within the fort - in its own shrine, to which all agreed.

nuestra_senora_dela_cotta2Mr. Nacorda had a small image made. Mayor Michael Lopez Rama, on behalf of Cebu City, accepted the donated image and said that the oratory inside Fort San Pedro added a "spiritual ambience" to the fort, aside from the existing historical and cultural ambience. On the feast of Mahal na Birhen ng Cotta or delos Remedios, December 18, 2010, Rev. Fr. Romeo Desuyo, parish priest of Our Lady of Remedies Church in Odlot, Bogo City (some 100kms north of the city), blessed the image, the well and the oratory. The image was then processed around the three bastions of the fort, as if the Lady was reclaiming her old home. After 150 years, the Our Lady of the Fort is again venerated in Cebu and will now be feted annually on December 18, her original feast day.

Article contributed by JoVi Atanacio