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CBCP supports bid for Padre Pio Shrine in Batangas to be internat’l shrine

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A petition for the Vatican to elevate the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio to the rank of international shrine got the backing of the Philippine bishops.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) approved over the weekend to endorse the parish church’s bid to be recognized as among the Church’s international shrines.

The bishops made the decision during their 128th plenary assembly in Cagayan de Oro City.

“We have approved to endorse the application of the National Shrine of Padre Pio into an international shrine,” Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP president, announced in a press conference on Monday.

Located in Santo Tomas, a city in the province of Batangas, the 12-hectare shrine attracts pilgrims from across the country and around the world, especially those seeking healing and refuge.

Originally a small chapel, it became the country’s first parish under the patronage of a Capuchin saint in 2003.

In 2008, it was recognized as an archdiocesan shrine. Five years after, the CBCP declared it a national shrine.

Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa said that aside from the CBCP endorsement, the church has gained support from several heads of episcopal conferences across Asia to become an international shrine.

“We are really convinced there is a need for Rome to recognize it is an international shrine because of the strong devotion to Santo Padre Pio,” Garcera said.

If approved by the Vatican, it will be the second international shrine in the Philippines, after the International Shrine of Our Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo City.|- CBCP News

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