Cardinal Jose Advincula on Saturday declared the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish as Manila’s newest archdiocesan shrine.
The elevation ceremony was held during Mass coinciding the 325th anniversary of the arrival of the Peñafrancia image in Manila.
The cardinal, in his homily, said that “the shrine should be a place where joy with the Lord is felt because true joy is a sign of holiness.”
“A shrine is also a sign of God’s fidelity as Mary was challenged with raising Jesus and bringing him to Egypt, she remained steadfast,” Cardinal Advincula said.
He added, “the shrine should be a sign of God’s mercy, being a place where the poor are welcome and that God’s infinite love is open to all.”
Peñafrancia de Manila Shrine Rector Fr. Carmelo Arada, Jr. said that, “a journey of a Christian to a shrine is like their own journey in life towards the kingdom of God.”
“The experience of coming to a shrine is a foretaste of heaven, like coming home to the abode of God. This is why we have strived to be a home for all people here in the shrine of ‘Our Lady of the Poor,’” he said.
The religious icon was brought to Manila by the Dominican friars who were known for spreading the advocacy of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in different parts of the world from its originating place, Peña de Francia sanctuary in Spain.
The chapel in Manila’s Paco district became a parish in 1951, thus also celebrating in 2021 its 70th anniversary.
The image was granted canonical coronation through the authority of Pope John Paul II and crowned by the late Cardinal Jaime Sin, then archbishop of Manila, on November 10, 1985.