The Vatican has formally designated the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Anne in Taguig City as a minor basilica, one of the 20 churches in the country to have received such honor.
Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig said the designation means that the Diocese of Pasig will now have its first minor basilica — a church to which special privileges are attached.
“This is a great blessing to us. This is the first basilica of the Diocese of Pasig,” Bishop Vergara said during Mass on the Feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim on Tuesday, July 26.
The parish last year petitioned the Vatican to grant the old church with the title and dignity of minor basilica.
The petition contained a 180-page document about the parish’s history, liturgical services, social services, culture and devotion.
During the Mass, Bishop Vergara announced that the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments approved the petition, earning cheers and applause from the congregation.
“As always, let me assure you of my sincere and heartfelt support and prayers,” he said.
The title minor basilica could be bestowed for architectural beauty, historical significance, liturgical renown, the presence of a special relic or work of art or for any combination of those qualities.
The archdiocesan shrine already houses a bone relic of St. Anne.
A basilica also has special privileges with ties to the pope and one of them is the plenary indulgence, which the faithful who visit the house of worship and participate in sacred rites may receive.
The three church symbols that distinguish a basilica are the ombrellino (little umbrella), the tintinnabulum (bells) and the symbol of tiara and keys that is on the Vatican flag.
In preparation for the official proclamation of the church as minor basilica, the bishop asked the parish to “catechize the whole community” on the significance of the title.
He also encouraged the involvement of everyone in the preparation and exercise synodality among organizations, ministries, and even the local government.
“No should be left behind,” Bishop Vergara said.