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1st Philippines international shrine to hold thanksgiving Mass

International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

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J-P Mauro - published on 02/23/24

Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella will celebrate the Mass at the first international shrine in the Philippines, third in Asia, and 11th in the world.

The Catholic Church in the Philippines has announced a Mass of Thanksgiving at the nation’s very first international shrine. The special Mass will take place at the International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage on February 26, 2024. 

The Mass of Thanksgiving, or “Misa de Gracia,” will be celebrated by Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization.

CBCP news notes that the special Mass to show gratitude will follow a triduum of Masses and processions from February 23 to 25.

The Cathedral’s staff sent out a social media post in which they encouraged Catholics to “gather as one brethren as we give thanks to the Lord for the blessings we have received.”

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines petitioned for the Antipolo Cathedral’s elevation to the status of International Shrine in 2021, as it annually draws millions of pilgrims from the Philippines and abroad. It was approved in the Summer of 2022, and was formally designated as the International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in March 2023. 

Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is the first international shrine in the Philippines and the third in Asia, along with the Shrine of Haemi in South Korea, and the St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic International Shrine in India.

There are just a handful of international shrines around the world, including such famous places as Lourdes, Fatima, and Knock, as well as lesser-visited sites such as the Holy House Shrine in Loreto, or the Basilica of the Assumption in Aglona, Latvia.

The solemn declaration of the Philippine international shrine was performed by papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, in a January 26 service, at which 80 bishops gathered. 

The Filipino Bishop’s official news service points out that each different level of shrine (diocesan, national, and international) must meet specific requirements and seek approval from different levels in the Church as well. Local bishops approve of diocesan shrines, episcopal conferences must be approached to approve national shrines, and only the Holy See can approve recognition as an international shrine. 

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