HomeChurch & AsiaPope Francis grants plenary indulgences on 400th anniversary of Piat Shrine

Pope Francis grants plenary indulgences on 400th anniversary of Piat Shrine

Pilgrims to the centuries-old Our Lady of Piat will mark the 400th anniversary of the miraculous image’s shrine in Cagayan Valley with plenary indulgences from Pope Francis.

The Apostolic Penitentiary, through a “most special faculty” from the pope, released the decree on the grant of plenary indulgences on Dec. 5, upon the request of Archbishop Ricardo Baccay of Tuguegarao.

The Piat jubilee will run from Dec. 26, 2023, to Dec. 26, 2024, according to the decree signed by the Vatican’s major penitentiary, Cardinal Maurus Piacenza and Msgr. Christopher Nykiel, the regent.



Obtaining a plenary indulgence means the removal of all punishment, whether on earth or purgatory, attached to sin, according to Catholic teaching. The indulgence may be obtained once in a day.

The Vatican decree grants the plenary indulgence “subject to the usual conditions – sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father.”

It may be obtained by “all the faithful who are truly penitent and impelled by charity, as well as to the souls of the faithful in Purgatory by way of suffrages, if the faithful make a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Piat either individually or in groups, or if they spend some time in pious contemplation before an image of Our Lady of Piat publicly exposed for veneration, concluding with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and an invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

It said the old and the sick who are confined to their homes, “may also gain the same indulgence, where there is repentance of sin with the intention of fulfilling at the first possible opportunity the three conditions, if they join themselves spiritually to the celebrations in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and offer their pains and sufferings in their own lives to the mercy of God.”

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The decree called on the rector of the Piat sanctuary and its priests to “make available the opportunity for confession with promptitude and generosity,” to allow the most number of people to obtain the plenary indulgence.

The black Marian icon of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Visitation was brought to the Philippines from Macau by Dominican missionaries in 1604 and was originally enshrined in Lal-lo, Cagayan, then the seat of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia.

Two decades later, the image found a permanent home in what is now the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat, located in the municipality of Piat in Cagayan, about 30 minutes from Tuguegarao, the provincial capital.

Declared a minor basilica in 1999, the shrine is a pilgrimage center in northeast Luzon.

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