AFTER a week-long procession and praying of the Holy Rosary, Antipolo Cathedral is finally declared an international shrine.
According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, over 80 bishops were present during the declaration, which officially made the Antipolo Cathedral a sacred place based on the requirements outlined in the norms for shrine designation.
Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles Brown presided over the 10 a.m. mass attended by some 80 bishops from across the country who are currently in Manila for a seminar in preparation for their 127th plenary assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center later this month.
Before the Mass, a procession of the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage was held from the sacristy to the church’s facade, followed by the rite of coronation of the image led by Brown and Antipolo Bishop Ruperto Santos.
In June 2022, the Vatican announced the approval of the petition to elevate the cathedral into an international shrine —the first in Southeast Asia and the 11th worldwide.
According to a Vatican decree, the cathedral’s new status took effect on March 25 last year. A shrine is a sacred place that must meet specific requirements outlined in the norms for shrine designation.
The cathedral, also the Philippines' first national shrine, is a popular pilgrimage site visited by many devotees of Our Lady of Antipolo.
Likewise ushering the grand day were parishes under the Vicariate of Saint Jerome which covers Catholic Churches in Morong, Binangonan, and Cardona. The delegation from Binangonan’s Saint Ursula Parish included Mayor Cesar Ynares and other local officials.
Members of the Vicariate of the Our Lady of Aranzazu covering San Mateo, Rodriguez and Nangka in Marikina City also attended the event.
Before the official declaration rites, outreach programs dubbed “Works of Mercy” which included visits to the Antipolo City Jail on Jan. 6, the medical and surgical mission at the Antipolo Cathedral compound, and visit to the home for the aged and homeless shelters -- the Missionaries of Charity and Kanlungan ni Maria on Jan. 20 -- were conducted as part of the pre-declaration activities of the diocese.
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