A national shrine dedicated to Saint Padre Pio in Batangas province, south of Manila, is aspiring to attain international stature, according to a new book.
The book released Jan. 13 is titled “Enlarging the Space of our Tent,” and published by the Archdiocese of Lipa.
It stated that a concrete manifestation of the archdiocese’s efforts “to enlarge its tent” is the Parish and National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio located in Sto. Tomas town.
“This dream reflects the archdiocese’s desire to extend its influence far beyond its local and immediate surroundings and welcome people of diverse cultures and nationalities to experience the spiritual richness it offers,” part of the book read.
The shrine, it added, “seeks to serve as a beacon of unity, drawing followers from far and wide to participate in its solemn religious ceremonies of worship and healing, and share in the collective faith journey.”
Since the establishment of the parish in 2003, the declaration of the church as an archdiocesan shrine in 2008, and its recognition as a national shrine in 2015, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have come to this place to seek blessings from God through the intercession of St. Padre Pio.
The shrine also houses several first-class relics of the Italian saint, who spent most of his life in a monastery in southern Italy.
Known for his stigmata and gift of healing, Padre Pio is one of the most revered saints of the 20th century.
When his heart relic was brought to the shrine in 2018, hundreds of thousands of people trooped to the place of worship to pay homage to the saint.
Designation of an international shrine is approved by the Vatican as a sacred place for divine worship for the universal Church.
The country currently has one international shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, located in Antipolo City.
Its new status will be formally conferred during a Mass to be presided over by Archbishop Charles Brown, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, on Jan. 26.