Oct.
14, 2014, 2:09 p.m.
– THE
 SHRINE of Our Lady of Manaoag, which is under the spiritual leadership of
the Filipino Dominicans in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, is now a minor
basilica.

In a Facebook message
posted yesterday, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President
Archbishop Socrates Villegas announced that Pope Francis had granted the title
“minor basilica” to the shrine.

“The Archdiocese of
Lingayen Dagupan is immensely blessed!” Villegas said on his Facebook page.

For a shrine to be elevated to a minor basilica,
there must be “some particular historical and religious event” and a
“sacred image venerated in a special way,” according to a 1989 document from
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The document defined
minor basilicas as “churches graced with particular importance for
liturgical and pastoral life.” Other basilicas in the country are the
Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception or the Manila Cathedral, and the
Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo. The Binondo church where St.
Lorenzo Ruiz served is also a minor basilica.

For years, the image of
Our Lady of Manaoag has drawn pilgrims from all over the world because of
miracles dating back to 400 years ago. Pilgrims regard her as the patroness of
the sick, protector of the helpless, and benefactress of the needy.

The Shrine of Our Lady
of Manaoag is an affiliate of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in
Rome.

It was in 1614 when the
Augustinians transferred the administration of the shrine to the Dominican
friars. The Holy See granted spiritual administration of the shrine in
perpetuity to the Dominican Order in 1925.

READ
Pope Francis beatifies Paul VI

The original icon of Our Lady of Manaoag was
brought by the Augustinians in 1590. It was canonically crowned in 1926. Canonical
coronation means that the Holy See has officially recognized the favors granted
by Our Lady of Manaoag to devotees throughout the centuries. Angeli
Mae S. Cantillana

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