Devotion to the Virgin of Antipolo seen to increase when church gets international shrine status

Published August 2, 2021, 6:43 AM

by Nel Andrade

An increase in Marian devotion is seen once the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, (NSOLPGV) otherwise known as the Antipolo Cathedral housing the 17th century image of the Virgin Mary becomes an international shrine.

The National Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Photo by Nel Andrade/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Fr. Reynante Tolentino, shrine rector of the NSOLPGV told the Manila Bulletin that the number of pilgrims who come to the cathedral and pay homage to the Virgin of Antipolo is seen to increase.

Prior to the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of devotees come to the Antipolo Cathedral especially during Holy Week and the pilgrimage season in the month of May.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had earlier endorsed to the Vatican the petition of the Diocese of Antipolo to elevate the NSOLPGV into an international shrine.

Bishop Francis De Leon, Antipolo Diocese, in his message sent to Manila Bulletin through Fr. Nante, said he is grateful to his brother Bishops for their 100 percent support to his petition. He expressed hope that his petition will be approved by the Vatican.

“Let us pray that this good work for our Church may come into fruition as we celebrate the 500th arrival of Christianity in our country,” Bishop De Leon said .

The bishop has made an appeal to churchgoers during his homily to continue praying that the petition will be granted by the Vatican.

De Leon said churches, chapels, and oratories have been dedicated abroad to the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (OLPGV) because of the Overseas Filipino Workers resulting in widespread devotion.

He said Pope Francis choosing the shrine in Antipolo in May, 2021, to lead in praying the rosary to end the pandemic was among the reasons why he asked that the shrine in Antipolo be elevated to an International shrine for pilgrimage.

“Let us pray that the Pope grants the new title to the shrine, for new blessings and graces,” Fr. Nante said.

The OLPGV, also known as the “Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje” arrived in the country on July 18, 1626.

The 17th century image of the Virgin Mary, enshrined in Antipolo Cathedral was granted a Pontifical Coronation by the authority of His Holiness, Pope Pius XI on Nov. 28, 1926.

Its church was granted the status of a national shrine by the Bishops of the Philippines on January 14, 1954, making it the first national shrine in the country and in Southeast Asia.

Many devotees have claimed miracles attributed to their devotion to the OLPGV.