Pope Francis has granted canonical coronation to the image of Our Lady of the Assumption, the patroness of the Diocese of Maasin.
The Marian statue, which is enshrined at the Maasin Cathedral or the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of the Assumption, will be the first pontifically crowned image in the 53-year-old diocese in Southern Leyte province.
The approval was made on Dec. 14, 2021, nearly four months after Bishop Prescioso Cantillas petitioned the Vatican to confer the image with the distinct honor.
“The rite of canonical coronation is tentatively set for early August this year,” the diocese said.
The diocese released a copy of the decision of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on Wednesday, Feb. 2.
A canonical coronation is the Vatican’s recognition of a certain Marian image under a specific title being venerated in a locality.
The venerated image should also be historically old, acclaimed, and in times of need serves as a beacon of faith and hope among the people.
It was in 1771 when Maasin was canonically established as a parish under the care of the Jesuit missionaries.
When the Franciscans took charge in 1843, the parish was placed under the patronage of Our Lady of the Assumption.
In 1968, upon the elevation of the parish church into a cathedral, the newly erected diocese also took Our Lady of the Assumption as its patroness.
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