A 17th-century church in Baras, Rizal is now a diocesan shrine.
Bishop Francisco de Leon of Antipolo declared the “San Jose de Baras– the local name of the church– as a diocesan shrine in a decree dated last June 30.
Parish priest Fr. Rodney Cruz said that the church of Baras is one of the most well-kept heritage churches in the province. It is also a pilgrimage site. (Read: Antipolo Cathedral Joins 30 Marian Shrines for Global Rosary Month)
Truly a blessing
The new status is “truly a blessing” for the parish, Fr. Cruz said, because it coincides with the town celebration of 100 years of Baras’s independence “after many after many years of incorporation and temporary division from its neighboring towns Morong and Tanay since the Spanish era.”
According to historical records, the fulfillment of the petition for Baras’s declaration as an independent town was through the people’s ardent devotion to St. Joseph, known locally as “San José de Baras.” (Read: CBCP Releases ‘Act of Consecration to St. Joseph’ in 6 Local Languages)
Fr. Cruz also said that Baras has been the oldest Josephian parish in the Southern Tagalog mainland since its foundation in 1686.
Devotion to St. Joseph
The parish, “has continued to be a community wherein many traditions abound, making it a unique place of prayer with celebrations in honor of St. Joseph,” Fr. Cruz said.
The church in Baras is the third Josephian parish to be elevated to diocesan shrine status this year. (Read: LIST: The 30 Shrines That Will Lead the Global Rosary Marathon)