UST's 'Grand Living Rosary' draws 24,000 people

Posted at 12/09/2010 1:49 AM | Updated as of 12/09/2010 11:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATED) An estimated 24,000 students, faculty and staff of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) participated in the school's Grand Living Rosary event that commemorated the feast day of the Immaculate Conception.

The participants formed the human rosary circling the UST campus.

The participants congregated along Arellano Drive, Ceferino Gonzales Drive, Osmeña Drive, A. Albert Drive, Quezon Drive, Leon Ma. Guerrero Drive and Araullo Drive, and within Plaza Mayor and Plaza Intramuros inside the university's campus on España Boulevard, Maila.

People assigned as the Hail Mary beads wore yellow shirts, while those tasked to represent Our Father beads, the Cross, and the Center Medal donned blue shirts.

Those who were part of the connecting chains of the living rosary, meanwhile, wore white shirts.

The participants also formed the phrase "Ave Maria."

A mass was held at the UST Plaza Mayor in front of the Main Building after the human rosary event

Organizers initially estimated an attendance count of 20,000.

They are now looking at the possibility of submitting the event to the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest human rosary in the world.

"Having been named 'Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario' at the time of its inception, the University of Santo Tomas has had a long history of devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary, patroness of the Dominican Order," the Facebook page of the event read.

"This grand Marian event, while at the same time an attempt to a Guinness world record of the largest human rosary, is intended to be a statement of UST's unchanging love and devotion to the Mother of God," the organizers added.

Initially set on October 7 for the Feast of the Holy Rosary, the event was moved to December 8 due to unpredictable weather.

The activity is part of the ongoing countdown to the 400th anniversary of the university next year.

UST's quadricentennial celebrations will start in January. - With a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News