National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage



Facade of National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

Every nation has a shrine of its own. The Philippines, being a significantly Catholic nation, should have a national shrine to which all elements of the population may take recourse in their moments of affliction or in fulfillment of their obligations to the faith.

The Shrine of the Virgin of Antipolo seems by virtue of its history and its miraculous potency to have fulfilled the requirements for a national shrine. The brown virgin is venerated by all classes of people. Her fame is known all over the islands. Men, women, and children from the remotest islets and barrios troop to Antipolo during the months of May, June and July. Whole families consider it a breach of their religious duties if they fail to see the Virgin at least once a year.

On January 14, 1954, a decisive act of the bishops and monsignori attending the closing ceremonies of their Episcopal Conference held in the church of Antipolo declared the latter a national shrine of the Philippines dedicated to the Virgin Queen of Peace, better known as Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje, acclaimed the most renowned image of the Republic. This historic document was signed by 23 bishops, archbishops and dignitaries of the Curia who were present at the occasion.

Interior of National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

It is highly significant that the Virgin of Antipolo is known as the Patroness of Peace and Safe Voyage. Our ship of state has sailed from the turbulent years of pre-martial law to calm and peaceful waters for the past years. There is urgent reason for the Philippines to plead for the intercession of the Patroness of Peace and Safe Voyage so that our Ship may steer away from perilous waters until it reaches safely our national destiny of greatness under her divine guidance.

Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is currently enshrined in the parish of Immaculate Conception, Antipolo City.

In 1991 Antipolo celebrated its 400th years as an independent town way back in 1591. Before that, it was only a village.

Altar of National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

The reason why we often hear people associate the title Virgin of Antipolo (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage) to Our Lady than the title Immaculate Conception is that the latter title was only conferred to Mary on December 8, 1854. The former was already a by-word among the Catholic faithful since 1591. The present title, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage was conferred on 1746 when successful trips were attributed to her intercession.

Even though the church of Antipolo was made the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, as a parish, it is particularly known as the parish of the Immaculate Conception.

Excerpt from Shrines, Incarnating Christ Today. St. Paul Philippines, 2004. Photos from antipolocity.com, janicetani.blogspot.com, casaveneracion.com.

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