Angono Church now a diocesan shrine

Published May 25, 2022, 11:56 AM

by Christina Hermoso

The Angono Church in Rizal, the only Catholic parish church in the country dedicated to St. Clement, the Pope and Martyr, has been elevated to the status of a diocesan shrine.

Angono Church (Facebook)

Bishop Francisco De Leon led the recent Eucharistic celebration to formally declare the St. Clement Parish Church as a diocesan shrine.

The decree was signed on Aug. 20, 2021. The formal declaration was, however, moved to a later date due to the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, said a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post.

Rev. Fr. Peter Ymari Balatbat was installed as the shrine’s first rector during the mass which was attended by Diocese of Antipolo Auxiliary Bishop Nolly Buco and members of the clergy.

The new heritage markers inside the church state that the elevation of the shrine was held in time for the celebration of the 500th year of Christianity of the Philippines and the 270th year of the erection of the Spanish-era chaplaincy of the Angono hacienda in 1751.

The parish also unveiled a life-size statue of St. Clement at Wawa Lakeside Park in Angono’s San Vicente village on May 22.

Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country troop to Angono every year on Nov. 23 to celebrate the feast day of San Clemente which is traditionally marked with the Higantes Festival.