Pope Francis granted canonical coronation to the image of Our Lady of Mercy enshrined at the Parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Archbishop Charles Brown, the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, announced the good news on Sunday during the Corpus Christi Mass at the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy. He added that the date for the canonical coronation is yet to be announced.
With the pontifical coronation, a crown or stellar halo will be added to the Marian image. It is a pious institutional act that can only be granted by the Holy Pontiff. (Read: Marian Image in Tarlac Gets Pope Approval for Canonical Coronation)
Spiritual Bond of Affinity
Aside from the coronation, the Mass also celebrated the granting of the “spiritual bond of affinity” between the Parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Novaliches and the Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.
This means all indulgences granted in the basilica will be gained in the diocesan shrine. (Read: Pope Francis Grants Two-Year Indulgence to Calamba Parish in Laguna)
“In May, we receive the Spiritual Bond of Affinity document with Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome,” the parish announced in a Facebook post.
“With gratitude and joy, we are now on the Pontifical Coronation of Our Lady of Mercy,” it added.
‘Mother of Novaliches’
The Parish of Our Lady of Mercy or “Mother of Novaliches” was built during the Spanish colonization era on September 24, 1856.
For more than four decades, the parish was led by the Spaniards until the 1896 Philippine Revolution. From then, jurisdiction over the parish has been passed on to the town of Novaliches.
In 2008, the parish was elevated into a diocesan shrine status, officially changing its name to “Santuario Diocesano” or the “Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy.” (Read: Bataan Parish Dedicated to St. John Paul II Now a Diocesan Shrine)
However, it was only in January this year when Bishop Robert Gaa of Novaliches declared the Our Lady of Mercy as the second patroness of the diocese.
The Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mercy will celebrate its 165th anniversary on September 24 this year. The day coincides with the feast of Our Lady of Mercy.