St. John the Baptist in Badoc, Ilocos Norte. (Photo by Leilanie Adriano)
LAOAG CITY — Thousands of devotees, guests and visitors from all over the Philippines and abroad witnessed on Tuesday the solemn declaration of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Badoc, Ilocos Norte as a minor basilica.
In the Philippines, the 200-year old Basilica Minore of Saint John the Baptist, where the La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc is currently enshrined, became the 14th of its kind that was granted with privileges, obligations, and conditions as a minor Basilica.
Barely a few months after the May 31, 2018 pontifical coronation of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc with the infant Jesus, thousands of pilgrims and devotees continue to visit the church believed to have been chosen as the sanctuary of the miraculous image of the Blessed Mother.
In his homily, Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, Archbishop Emeritus of Cotabato said: “In his mysterious ways, God makes what it seems to be absurd as a channel of grace” when the Church of Badoc, more than its physical building, has been elevated into a minor basilica.
“Becoming a minor basilica is a very strong call of the Holy Spirit to the people of God in Badoc and in Ilocos Norte as well as a call to all pilgrims who come here. And the call is to strive daily to His calling,” said Quevedo, as he underscored the elevation of Badoc Church as a testament to the “growing maturity of your faith and love of the Lord.”
Over the past few months, the people of Ilocos Norte, led by the Diocese of Laoag and the provincial government of Ilocos Norte, have prepared and waited with excitement for the Feb. 5 declaration of the Badoc shrine as a "minor basilica", the third of its kind in the region.
In a Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on Jan. 29, it says that Catholics who attend the solemn declaration of the Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc as a “minor basilica” can receive a plenary indulgence.
Catholics believe in indulgence or "remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.” The conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence included having recently gone to confession, receiving the Eucharist and offering prayers for intentions of the Pope.
Built in the 17th century, the Badoc Church is among the 11 Filipino-Hispanic Baroque Churches in Ilocos Norte and was built into a parish church in 1714.
Since 1620, the church housed the miraculous image of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, which has been revered by devotees over the centuries.
Prior to the elevation of the parish church of Badoc to a minor basilica, Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba has appointed Frederick Victorio Astudillo, parish priest of St. John the Baptist of Badoc as rector of the newest minor basilica of Badoc.
Along with other bishops of the Philippines, Thomas Aquinas Cardinal Manyo Maeda of Osaka, Japan also attended the event in recognition of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc’s origin in Japan. (PNA)
Photo by Leilanie Adriano/PNA