Papal decree elevates Antipolo Cathedral into Southeast Asia's 1st International Shrine

The Antipolo Cathedral, otherwise known as the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo City, is now officially the International Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, making it the first international shrine in Southeast Asia and the 11th in the world.

The Diocese of Antipolo and the Antipolo cathedral, in an announcement on March 13 on its social media pages, said that the Vatican
has finally issued a decree, elevating the cathedral into an International Shrine.
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The shrine received the Papal decree on March 13, the 10th anniversary of the papacy of Pope Francis.

The decree will take effect on March 25, coinciding with the occasion of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and the anniversary of the departure of the image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Nuestra Senora dela Paz Y Buenviaje) from Acapulco in Mexico, to the Philippines.

The cathedral said the Vatican, prior to the issuance of the decree, announced in June, 2022, that it has approved the petition of the cathedral, through Antipolo Bishop Francis Mendoza De Leon, and the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines for the elevation of the shrine into an international shrine, making the Antipolo’s cathedral as the very first to become an international shrine in Southeast Asia and eleventh worldwide.

Fr. Reynante Tolentino, shrine rector of the Antipolo Cathedral revealed that a solemn declaration of the shrine, which is being anticipated by the church and the devotees, may happen sometime in July, with the bishops of the Philippines possibly attending the momentous occasion.

“Our Shrine, being an international shrine, is a great blessing and a responsibility to the entire Diocese of Antipolo and the whole
country especially to the devotees of the Blessed Virgin. Many thanks to Pope Francis for appointing our shrine as an International Shrine as well as the CBCP and the bishops of the Philippines! Thank you so much to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin of Antipolo!” Tolentino said in a message sent to Manila Bulletin, when asked by this reporter for his reaction.

Tolentino bared that at present, the cathedral's main altar, where the 17th century old image of the Blessed Virgin used to be displayed, is undergoing minor repainting and improvement and may be finished before the Holy Week.