On Tuesday, July 27, the Diocese of Antipolo announced that they will petitioning to the Vatican the declaration of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage as an international shrine.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines also endorsed the request for the declaration. While they still have to obtain the necessary requirements to complete the formal petition to be submitted to Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, the diocese is praying that it will be approved by the Holy See. (Read: CBCP Releases Consecration Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
“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 said.
Sixth Marian international shrine
If the petition is approved, the church will be the world’s “11th international shrine and the third in Asia after the St. Thomas Church Malayattoor in Kerala India, and the Haemi Martyrdom Holy Ground together with the Seoul Pilgrimage Routes in South Korea.”
It will also be the sixth Marian international shrine in the world, and the first in Asia.
The shrine houses the Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje, a 17th century image of the brown-skinned Madonna. The image arrived in the Philippines in July 1626, and was coronated in November 1926. (Read: 4 Books to Make You Love, Appreciate Mama Mary)
First in Southeast Asia
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is the first national shrine in the country and in Southeast Asia. It was granted the status by Philippine bishops on January 14, 1954.
It also became the cathedral of the Antipolo diocese in 1983, after the installation of its first bishop, Protacio Gungon.
The shrine was also included in the 30 shrines around the world that were part of Pope Francis’s global marathon of prayer for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.