The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has endorsed a petition seeking the elevation and recognition of the “National Shrine of Lady of Peace and Good Voyage” in the city of Antipolo as an “international shrine.”
“It is undeniable that the National Shrine of Our Lady is considered a prime pilgrim Church of the Philippines because of the countless devotees and pilgrims who have come and experienced the special presence of the Blessed Mother in their life,” read a letter from the CBCP on July 26.
The letter was addressed to Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.
Archbishop Romulo Valles, CBCP president, said the decision to endorse the petition introduced by Bishop Francisco M. de Leon of Antipolo was done during the 122nd Plenary Assembly on July 9, 2021.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage or the Antipolo Cathedral in the province of Rizal is home to the 17th century image of the brown-skinned Madonna known to Filipinos and to pilgrims around the world as the “Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje” that arrived in the country on July 18, 1626.
The image enshrined in the church was granted Pontifical Coronation by Pope Pius XI on Nov. 28, 1926. The church was granted the status of a national shrine by the bishops of the Philippines on Jan. 14, 1954, making it the first national shrine in the country and in Southeast Asia.
It became the Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antipolo on June 25, 1983, with the canonical installation of Bishop Protacio G. Gungon as first bishop of Antipolo.