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Antipolo Cathedral becomes Southeast Asia's first international shrine

By Camille Santiago Published Jan 26, 2024 6:05 pm

The Antipolo Cathedral, the popular pilgrimage site of the devotees of the Our Lady of Antipolo, is officially an international shrine.

Over 85 bishops and archbishops from all over the country and hundreds of priests from the Diocese of Antipolo attended the solemn ceremony of the International Shrine of our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage on Friday, Jan. 26.

The symbolical coronation of the Blessed Mother was done in the morning to welcome a "new journey as an International Shrine."

A rite of coronation of the image was led afterward by Most Rev. Charles John Brown D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines and Bishop Ruperto Santos of Antipolo.

It was then followed by the reading of the Decree in Latin by Most. Rev. Francisco M. De Leon, D.D. and Bishop Emeritus of Antipolo. Meanwhile, Msgr. Patin read the English translation.

The Antipolo Cathedral is the first national shrine in Southeast Asia and the third in Asia. It is also the 11th international shrine in the world. 

In June 2022, the Vatican approved Antipolo Cathedral's petition to be an international shrine.

In its recommendation letter, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines described the cathedral as the country’s “prime pilgrim Church because of the countless devotees and pilgrims who have come and experienced the special presence of the Blessed Mother in their life through the pastoral care of pilgrims in this shrine.”

“By being a center of the Catholic faith in the region, this would be an honor that will be claimed as a beacon for Filipinos across the world and those inspired by the cause of peace and good voyage attest their fervor in the faith to the love of Christ and to the maternal care of the Blessed Mother,” the Diocese of Antipolo said in a statement.

The Catholic Church has three kinds of shrines: diocesan shrines, approved by the local bishop; national shrines, recognized by the bishops’ conference; and, international shrines, endorsed by the Vatican.