Philippines Opens Two New Archdiocesan Shrines

The elevation ceremonies took place on the Feast of Santo Niño, one of the main Catholic devotions in the country.

Newsroom – Philippines – Manila (January 27, 2022, 9:10 AM, Gaudium Press) Two Catholic temples in the Philippines, located in the provinces of Batangas and Iloilo, have been elevated to the status of Archdiocesan Shrine.

Archdiocesan Shrine of Santo Niño in Batangan

Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa presided over the Eucharistic celebration in which the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was declared the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Santo Niño of Batangan.

According to the decree designating the Basilica as a Shrine, the local Church “recognizes the deep devotion of the faithful of the Archdiocese to the Santo Niño of Batangan and believes that this ardent and deep devotion of the devotees is a remarkable way to achieve holiness.”

The Santo Niño de Batangan is a dark-skinned image of the Infant Jesus that has been enshrined in the Basilica since Spanish times. The current image is a replica of the original that was destroyed during a fire in the church convent in the year 1999.

This is the eighth local shrine in the Archdiocese after St. Vincent Ferrer (Lipa City), St. Joseph the Patriarch (San Jose, Batangas), Our Lady of Caysasay (Taal, Batangas), St. Therese of the Child Jesus (Santa Teresita, Batangas), the Archdiocesan Glorious Cross (Batangas City), St. John the Baptist (Lian, Batangas) and St. Raphael the Archangel (Calaca, Batangas).

Archdiocesan Shrine of Santo Niño de Arevalo

Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo of Jaro presided over a Eucharistic celebration at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, in which the new Archdiocesan Shrine of the Santo Niño of Arevalo was declared.

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The decree recognized the church as “the home of the venerated Santo Niño of Arevalo, the third oldest image of the Niño in the country.” The devotion of the image is officially dated back to the founding of the parish in 1581, a few years after the beginning of the devotions to the Santo Niño of Cebu and the Santo Niño of Tondo in Manila.

The crown offered by the people of Arevalo was also blessed. The Rector of the Shrine, Father Jose Clasico Nufable and his Parish Vicar Father Rex John Palmos performed the solemn crowning act.

The Santo Niño de Arevalo is a centuries-old image with a face similar to that of the Santo Niño of Cebu. It is also considered the first Santo Niño devotion in the province of Iloilo which was duly organized during the tenure of Father Anselmo Avanceña from 1864 to 1882.

This is the third local shrine in the Archdiocese of Jaro after St. Vincent Ferrer in the city of Leganes, Iloilo province, and Our Lady of Fatima in Jaro. The Archdiocese also has a National Shrine, which is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Jaro in Iloilo City. (EPC)

Compiled by Sarah Gangl

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