SANTA INES OF BULAKAN: WHY NO MEN CAN TOUCH HER IMAGE?
Yes, there’s a religious image that only women are allowed to touch. Weirdly enough, every time that a man, even gay men, tries to touch the mystical image something bad happens to them or the weather. How about Priests? Yes, they can’t also touch the image. A story once had been known about a priest who does not fully believe in the bizarre belief that no men could touch the image and tried to do so.
Why No Men Can Touch Her Image?
Few minutes then, he witnessed the roaring thunder and heavy rain that came right after he touched the image. This image is called the mystical image of Sta. Ines de Bulakan. This can be found in the barangay bearing the name of the Saint in the town of Bulakan, Bulacan – a town an hour away from Manila and the town where the New Manila International Airport will be built.
According to the stories of devotees and town’s folks residing in the vicinity of Sta. Ines, there was a fisherman who tried to rescue the image floating on the river of Pariahan (The old name of town). However, the said fisherman mysteriously could not lift the image out from the river! Desperately he called for assistance from other fishermen. Amazed by the weight of the image, they had also the same experience of unable to lift the image. Until several women helped them and had successfully taken it out from the river. They have concluded that men could not touch the image. This phenomenon can be associated with the story of the life of St. Agnes. She was a 12-year-old virgin-martyr who died under the prosecution of men who tries to violate her pure and innocent body. She is the patron saint of young women and rape survivors.
The Devotion to Sta. Ines
Every January 21st the town’s folks celebrate her feast day via procession and a Novena (public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks). A priest will bless the image before the start of the procession. Only female devotees shall carry the Andas around the Barangay Sta. Ines. This devotion may sound sexist for people who hear it for the first time. But people may get to understand it once they hear the story of St. Agnes.
For more stories about the intercession of Sta. Ines please visit it here: https://youtu.be/pqaJSnjIII8