By Pot Chavez
ANTIPOLO CITY – The Antipolo Cathedral, otherwise known as the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage National Shrine, has been elevated by the Vatican to the status of Marian “International Shrine.”
The symbolic coronation and rite of solemn declaration was presided by Most Rev. Charles Brown, D.D., the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, on Friday.
In his message, Brown reflected on the role of the “Our Lady of Antipolo” in the history of the country and the Catholic Church.
“The phenomenon of popular piety, the religiosity of the masses… is so evident [here] in the Philippines. Indeed, it was only last month that all were gathered for the ‘Simbang Gabi’ masses in anticipation of Christmas, a beautiful example of the Philippine popular piety,” he said.
Brown also recounted the “Traslacion” event of the Black Nazarene and the Sinulog Festival of Sto. Nino as examples of the popular piety of Filipinos, which were both attended by millions of Catholic faithful early this month.
Likewise, he contemplated the tradition of ‘Alay-Lakad’ procession in Antipolo every April 30th and May 1st which he referred to as “a wonderful pilgrimage on foot.”
According to the Papal Nuncio, the ‘synodality’ led by more than 85 bishops that witnessed the declaration shall make believers closer to the church.
He also recognizes that the presence of church leaders in the ceremony serves as a reminder to “walk and listen” to the simple and poor followers of the Catholic church.
The arrival of Brown, representing the leadership of Pope Francis, marks the interconnectedness of the local church with the universal Catholic community, and bestows global recognition to the local celebration.
The Latin Decree was proclaimed by Most. Rev. Francisco De Leon, D.D., Bishop Emeritus of Antipolo, while Rev. Msgr. Bernardo Patin read its English translation.
Present during the ceremonies were First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, Rizal Governor Rebecca Ynares, Antipolo City Mayor Jun Ynares, and other officials from the local government, together with hundreds of priests from the Diocese of Antipolo. (PNA)
(Photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)