Peñafrancia Parish in Manila declared as archdiocesan shrine

Published May 24, 2022, 9:50 AM

by Christina Hermoso

Our Lady of Peñafrancia Manila (FACEBOOK)

The Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish in Manila has been declared as an archdiocesan shrine.

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula led the recent elevation ceremonial mass which coincided with the 325thanniversary of the arrival of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia image in Manila.

In his homily, His Eminence said, the shrine should be a place “where joy with the Lord is felt because true joy is a sign of holiness. A shrine is also a sign of God’s fidelity as Mary was challenged with raising Jesus and bringing Him to Egypt. She remained steadfast,” the cardinal said.

“The shrine should also be a sign of God’s mercy as a place where the poor are welcome because God’s infinite love is open to all,” Cardinal Advincula said.

For his part, shrine rector Fr. Carmelo Arada, Jr. likened the “journey of a Christian to a shrine is like his own journey in life towards the kingdom of God.”

“The experience of coming to a shrine is a foretaste of heaven, like coming home to the abode of God. This is why we have strived to be a home for all people here in the shrine of ‘Our Lady of the Poor,’” he stressed.

The revered image was brought to Manila by the Dominican friars who popularized devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia in different parts of the world including the Philippines from its originating place, the Peña de Francia sanctuary in Spain. The image was granted canonical coronation by then Pope now Saint John Paul II and was crowned by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, then archbishop of Manila, on November 10, 1985.

The chapel in Paco, Manila became a parish in 1951 and will celebrate its 71st anniversary this year.