Latest Stories

Vatican gives special status to Batangas shrine


MANILA, Philippines—Devotees making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in the historic town of Taal in Batangas will now be able to receive the same plenary indulgence granted to pilgrims who visit the ancient basilica of St. Mary Major (Sta. Maria Maggiore) in Rome.

According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Vatican has issued a decree signed by Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, archpriest emeritus of St. Mary Major, granting the Caysasay Shrine the same special privilege attached to the Roman basilica.

Pilgrims who visit and pray at the Shrine will receive plenary indulgence provided they fulfill the prescribed conditions of going to confession, participating in a Mass and praying for the intention of the Holy Father. A plenary indulgence is a complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin.

The CBCP quoted Fr. Nonie Dolor, the Lipa Archdiocese media director, saying that the Vatican’s pronouncement was “very timely” as the archdiocese was preparing for the grand celebration of its 40th anniversary.

Dolor said a Mass of Declaration to be presided by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles will be celebrated at the Shrine on June 3 to formally announce to the public the special privilege granted by the Vatican.

The ceremonies will include the reading of the decree and placing the original Latin text and its translation as a marker at the Shrine’s entrance, according to Shrine rector Fr. Jose Maria Loyola Cumagun.

On Saturdays, the day set for devotion to the Our Lady of Caysasay, the otherwise sleepy shrine becomes vibrant when pilgrims flock to the place to pay homage to the Blessed Virgin.

The Marian icon was said to have been found by a local fisherman at the Pansipit River, according to a local legend.

The people had the Marian image enshrined at Labac where devotees flock every Saturday to pay homage.

Miracles attributed to the image attracted many devotees to make annual pilgrimages to the Shrine, especially Chinese Catholics.

Last year, a similar declaration was granted by the Vatican to the shrine of the Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan.

The St. Mary Major basilica is one of the Catholic major basilicas that formed traditional Seven Pilgim Churches of Rome.

The basilica was one of the first built in honor of the Blessed Virgin to highlight her being declared as Mother of God by the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. The basilica hosts pieces of wood said to have come from the Nativity crib.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Batangas shrine , Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines , CBCP , Our Lady of Casaysay Church in Taal , Rome , St. Mary Major , Sta. Maria Maggiore , Taal , Vatican

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MLURGONF7ZBJY7V2RJ4PEJIEHU Filipinos

    finally, a credible writer called it crap.  I am away for 7 years now and it makes vomit when i review the latest telenovelas and finds the same faces  ages ago.. wala na ba ibang talents dyan?
    hopefully TV5 will come up with their own local telenovelas that features new names and non-tisoy/tisay actors for a change…

  • Pence Cham

    an example of wrong teachings of the church. How can you attach spritiual matters to places?

  • joseph bautista

    Psalm 115:2-8 says; Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?”3. Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.
    4. But their idols are silver and gold, made by hands of men. 5. they have mouths but cannot speak, eyes but cannot see; 6. they have ears but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell; 7. they have hands cannot feel, feet but cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. 8. those who make them will be like them and so will all who trust in them.

    John 4:23-24 ” Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks 24. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

  • joseph bautista

    What will that place do to you or what will people do with this place?

  • joseph bautista

    I am only quoting  the text in the bible, it is up to you how you apply this text to this story!

  • Islaslolo

    If the Philippine Catholic Church promotes superstition and belief in miracles, God bless our country. For we will go back to the Dark Ages.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Suspected militant, son killed in Thailand’s south
  • Iran mother spares life of son’s killer after campaign
  • Japan to hunt fewer whales in Pacific this season
  • Deal brings no immediate change to eastern Ukraine
  • China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Marketplace