By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Diocese of Cubao will finally have its first church granted the status of a Minor Basilica.
On Monday, March 25, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Quezon City will be formally declared a Minor Basilica.
According to the Cubao diocese, a minor basilica is a church granted with special ecclesiastical privileges by the pope.
“The status is usually given to churches because of their antiquity, historical value, architectural worth and significance as centers of worship,” they said in their Facebook page.
It will be the first church in the diocese with perpetual plenary indulgence.
“The Catholic faithful who have made a pilgrimage to the Shrine, who are truly penitent and have confessed their sins, who have received Holy Communion, and who pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, will receive during the Novena and Fiesta Masses, the blessing with the attached Plenary Indulgence, in the usual form of the church,” said the diocese.
It will also be the first church in the diocese to have the special spiritual bond of affinity to the papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore or St. Mary Major in Rome.
The diocese said this means that the Catholic faithful who will go on pilgrimage to the shrine, especially on solemnities of the Blessed Virgin Mary, will obtain indulgences and privileges similar to those of papal basilica.
It was last December, when Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco confirmed the Vatican’s approval of their application for the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine to be granted the title of a Minor Basilica.
“At the request of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Honesto F. Ongtioco, Bishop of Cubao, in a letter given on the 17th of August 2018, expressing the prayers and desires of the clergy and the lay faithful, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, with the power of faculties given to it by the Supreme Pontiff FRANCIS, very willingly bestows upon the parish church in the city of New Manila, Quezon City, which is dedicated to God in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, the title and dignity of a MINOR BASILICA,” read the letter from the office of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments dated November 30, 2018.
The solemn declaration of the Shrine as a Minor Basilica will take place at 6 p.m.