- Posted October 10, 2013 by
Incorruptible body of a woman venerated as saint
The shrine houses the remains of Inday Potenciana. Every year, hundreds of thousands devotees undertake a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Inday Potencianat. It is open to all. So, have no fear wanderer...you will not be subject to the evil-eye by setting foot upon this hallowed ground.
Potenciana Saranza, also known as Inday Potenciana, is celebrated as a saint by the devotees and believers in the island of Bohol in Philippines. The center of her veneration is in Barangay Tawid , a place of pilgrimage for Anda, in Bohol, Philippines. Her historical existence has not been questioned; she was not acknowledge or declared saint by the Roman Catholic Church, but devotion to her revived in Bohol and other parts of Mindanao in Philippines. She was reputed to have promised very powerful indulgences to those who read her life, visited her shrine, or invoked her intercessions; these no doubt helped the spread of her cultus.
Potenciana Saranza was born in Poblacion, Anda, Bohol, Philippines on May 19, 1927, the daughter of Mamerto Cagata Saranza, a farmer, and Pilar Amplayo Escobal, a housewife. Both her parents were devout Catholics.
She finished elementary at Anda Central Elementary School and high School. Inday wanted to become a teacher but her parents were poor to support her education. Inday convinced her parents to send her to college. Seeing their daughter's determination to become a teacher, the family's rice field and carabaos were sold to support her studies at Central Visayas Institute.
At the age of 26, she was teaching at Bincalan Elementary School in Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines. According to those who knew her, she was so kind, helpful and hardworking.
A year later, on April 1, 1953, she was about to go to Poblacion of Misamis Oriental when she got a ride to a logging truck due to lack of transportation when the truck inevitably crashed on a coconut tree. Due to fast and powerful impact of the truck, Inday Potenciana was moved out from truck bumped on the coconut tree. She was dead on the spot because of internal hemorrage. Her uncle, Fortunate Amper, buried her body at Gingoog Cemetery.
Nine years later, her parents dreamed that her remains should be brought to Anda, Bohol. She was exhumed after a string of visions by her parents and were transferred to Anda via motorized outrigger boat owned by Quirino Visaya.
She was again buried in their home ground in Poblacion near Quinali Beach in Anda. After one year, the regional health officer, Dr. Garcia ordered the remains of Inday Potenciana to be transferred to the municipal cemetery. It was exhumed and the body was found to be intact and uncorrupted just like few days ago she was buried. It was reported that the remains exude a sweet pleasant floral smell and liquid flowed from her hands and feet.
Dr. Garcia sprayed anti-bacteria to her body and then finally buried the body in the Anda Cemetery.
One month later, Dr. Garcia reportedly died.
Her incorrupt body having not been reduced to bones or dust in a matter of decades was venerated for many years which placed inside a glass casket lies in shrine conveniently situated beside the town cemetery.
Though shrouded with mystery followers still amass themselves every Fridays and Mondays of April, in commemoration of her death anniversary and thanking her for her miraculous intercessions.
Inday Potenciana's cult developed in Mindanao and spread throughout Bohol after her death in 1953.
Miraculous cures of the incurably ill began to happen after her death and continue to this day.
To those who want to go abroad or pass board exams, believers share Inday Potenciana is still granting wishes.
People still offer candles and flowers. They touch the glass cover of the tomb and make a symbol of the cross. They even wipe the glass with their handkerchiefs because they believe that the "moist" from the glass has healing power.
For the hundreds of thousands who make the pilgrimage to Anda each year, Inday Potenciana is a saint.
While the Roman Catholic Church doesn't recognize Inday Potenciana as a saint, devotees and believers have never ceased to venerate Inday Potenciana honoring her on May 19.