The Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Cardona, Rizal, announced on Monday that the image of their patroness, Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario de Cardona, was granted a pontifical coronation by Pope Francis.
Cardona Shrine Rector Fr. Bienvenido Guevara told the public of the arrival of the decree from the Holy See for the canonical crowning of their patroness, also known as “La Virgen de Sapao.”
This was held during a Mass celebrating the “Siete Dia” devotion, which is the special day of devotion in honor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Cardona, held in the shrine every seventh day of the month.
According to the decree, the petition for the coronation of Cardona’s patroness was sent in November 2021 and was accepted by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, the Vatican dicastery granting the pontifical title.
The dicastery issued the decree on Jan. 12, 2022 and was sent to Bishop Francisco de Leon of Antipolo.
According to the shrine, this year is the 150th anniversary of Cardona parish, which since 1872 was dedicated to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.
The devotion to La Virgen de Sapao has been known to local devotees, especially those in eastern Rizal.
Cardona church was elevated to diocesan shrine status by Bishop De Leon on October 1, 2017 and the image was granted an episcopal coronation by the same prelate on September 27, 2018.
Cardona’s patroness is the fifth Marian image to be granted a pontifical coronation in the Antipolo diocese. It followed Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje (Antipolo City), Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados de Marikina (Marikina City), Nuestra Señora de Aranzazu (San Mateo, Rizal), and, Nuestra Señora de la Luz (Cainta, Rizal).
At present, the diocese has the second most number of pontifically crowned Marian images in the country after the Archdiocese of Manila that has seven crowned Marian images.