Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jaro Cathedral to be declared National Marian Shrine




JARO, Iloilo City, Jan. 17, 2012—The Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral will be formally declared as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles on February 2, feast day of Our Lady of Candles or Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines declared on July 16, 2011 the elevation of the shrine of Our Lady of Candles into a national shrine.

On February 21, 1981, the image of Our Lady of Candles was canonically crowned by the Blessed Pope John Paul II— the only Marian image in the Philippines that was canonically crowned by a Pope.

The Marian image is venerated not just by the people of Jaro but also by the people of Western Visayas and beyond.


On April 21, 1982, Blessed Pope John Paul II named Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria as Patroness of Western Visayas. Both canonical coronation and the naming of the image as Patroness are official recognitions of what has already been a fact in the spiritual life not just of the people of Panay but also of the whole Western Visayas, and those who trace their roots to the locale.

The yearly pilgrimage to the shrine in February and the daily devotions of the people coming from afar bringing with them testimonies of divine interventions and spiritual graces, attest to the reality that the Our Lady of the Candles is indeed Mother to the people of Western Visayas.

The formal declaration as National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles on February 2 will coincide with the 30th anniversary of her Canonical Coronation and of naming her as Patroness of Western Visayas.


Jaro will also celebrate the 425th anniversary of the erection of Parish of Jaro, established under the care of the Augustinians on April 25, 1587 under the protection of Our Lady of the Nativity.

Novena Masses

Novena Masses will be celebrated daily in the Cathedral from January 24 to February 1 in preparation for the feastday of Our Lady.

On February 1 after the 5.30 p.m. Novena Mass, vespers will be celebrated to be followed by the Coronation of the image of Our Lady of Candles located in the balcony of the facade of the Cathedral.


On February 2, 11 Masses will be celebrated at the high altar of the Cathedral starting at 4.30 a.m., with two high Masses celebrated at 7 a.m. by Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo and a 5.30 p.m. to be presided by Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula.

The formal declaration of the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles will take place during the 7 a.m. Mass.

National Shrines in the country

Before the approval of the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles there were 18 National Shrines in the Philippines recognized by the CBCP, four of which are Minor Basilicas (a papal privilege granted to certain churches).

The 18 National Shrines are as follows:


Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Naga City; 


Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo, Manila; 



Basilica of the Santo Niño, Cebu City; 










Basilica of St. Sebastian,
 National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Quiapo, Manila; 






National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Antipolo City;







 National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Silang, Cavite; 





 National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Marilao, Bulacan; 


National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Marulas, Valenzuela City; St. Anne National Shrine, Hagonoy, Bulacan; National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Quezon City; National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Quezon City; National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels, San Miguel, Manila; National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Makati City; National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Parañaque City; National Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Baclaran, Parañaque; National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Sucat, Muntinlupa City; National Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Peace (Edsa Shrine), Ortigas, Mandaluyong City; National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Makati City.

There are 12 National Shrines in Manila, only one in the Visayas and none in Mindanao. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles will be the second national shrine in the Visayas.

A shrine is defined by Canon Law as a church or a sacred place which is by reason of special devotion is frequented by the faithful as pilgrims. It can be called officially a “local shrine” when such is given official recognition by the bishop of the place. And for it to be called a “national shrine” it has to be given recognition by the bishops’ conference.(Fr. Mickey Cardenas)


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