PAPAL CHURCH IN PIAT, CAGAYAN
INAUGURATED IN JUNE
Tuguegarao, Cagayan, March 29, 1999 - His Eminence Jose Cardinal Rosales will represent Pope John Paul II at the inauguration of the first Papal Church in the Cagayan Valley Region on June 23 in the town of Piat.
The National Shrine of the Lady of Piat has been elevated into the Basilica of the Lady of Piat by a Papal decree declaring it a basilica minore, according to Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan of the Tuguegarao Archdiocese.
Thousands of devotees will converge in Piat from all parts of the country, to be joined by hundreds who are flying in from the United States and Europe to join in the celebration.
There are only three other minor basilicas in the Philippines: the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion in Manila, the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity in Agoo, La Union and the Basilica of Sto, Nino in Cebu.
Major basilicas can only be found in Rome; those elsewhere are called minor basilicas.
The Holy Father granted the decree elevating the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat to a basilica as a tribute to the maturing faith of the people of Cagayan and their filial devotion to Mary, Talamayan said.
A nine-day novena will be held before and after the June 23 inauguration.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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