HomeDiocesan ReportsManila’s Sta. Ana Church elevated to ‘national shrine’ status

Manila’s Sta. Ana Church elevated to ‘national shrine’ status

The parish in Santa Ana is the first Franciscan Mission established outside Manila in 1578

The historic Sta. Ana Church in Manila, which is dedicated to Our Lady of the Abandoned, has been formally elevated to a “national shrine.”

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila, led the ceremony on Wednesday, May 11, declaring the 18th-century church as the “National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned.”

In his homily, the prelate said that attached to the church’s new status is both an honor and a responsibility.

As a national shrine, he said the Franciscan-run church is called to carry on its peculiar function as a center of devotion and charity.

“So I challenge the people here to intensify our faith in God and service to others,” Bishop Pabillo said.

The ceremony took place more than a year after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines approved the petition to raise the church as a national shrine.

The parish is the first Franciscan Mission established outside Manila in 1578. Construction of the church started in 1720 and was completed in 1725.

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It is home to the 300-year old image of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados de Manila also known as “La Gobernadora de Manila.”

In a decree dated Nov. 1, 2020, the bishops’ conference said the devotion to Our Lady of the Abandoned “became very popular and enduring over the centuries.”

It noted “miracles of every kind” attributed to Our Lady from cures to illnesses, the conversion of sinners, her reported “visitations” to devotees, to numerous petitions answered through her intercession.

Devotees and pilgrims from across the country continue to flock to Sta. Ana Church “to pay homage, to seek the loving gaze, and ask the maternal intercession of Our Lady of the Abandoned.”

There are now 27 national shrines in the Philippines including the Obando Church in Bulacan province, whose petition was only approved by the bishops’ conference in January this year.

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