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Pope awards Golden Rose to Philippines' Cathedral of Antipolo diocese

Archbishop Fisichella announced that the Golden Rose was a gift from Pope Francis and offered it in front of the Virgin of Antipolo. (Photo: Facebook: The Antipolo Cathedral)

Pope Francis awarded the International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in the Philippines, the highest papal recognition of a Marian image or shrine.

This is one of the many recognitions granted by the Vatican to the Diocese of Antipolo following the formal declaration of an international shrine in January.

"The Golden Rose is considered the highest honor given personally by the Supreme Pontiff to a Marian image and shrine across the world, as it is a commissioned gift from the Pope himself," said the Antipolo Cathedral in a statement. 

The Pope presented the Marian shrine of the Philippines and the whole of Asia with its first papal award, according to a statement from the Antipolo Cathedral.

During his service, Pope Pius XII gave St. Francis Xavier's tomb at the Se Cathedral a Golden Rose, making it the first church in Asia to receive this honor from the saintly pope. Pope Paul VI then presented the papal award to the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, then renowned Marian Shrines all over the world.

"Thus, this gift to Antipolo is the first time that a Marian shrine in the Philippines and the whole continent of Asia has been given this honor," the statement said.

Antipolo Cathedral is the third church in Asia to receive the Golden Rose Award, as well as the 43rd in the world.

Archbishop Salvatore "Rino" Fisichella, Pro-Prefect of the Section on Fundamental Questions regarding Evangelization in the World of the Dicastery for Evangelization, personally presented the Golden Rose to Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje during the Thanksgiving mass at the Antipolo Cathedral on February 26, 2024.

Every Laetare Sunday or the fourth Sunday of Lent, the Holy Father blessed the rose made of pure gold by placing incense in the middle of it and then blessing holy water.

On December 8, 2023, Pope Francis presented the Rosa d'Oro to the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, making it the third time the shrine has received this honor after Pope Julius III in 1551 and Pope Paul V in 1613.

This is also the ninth time that Pope Francis has bestowed the Golden Rose on Marian Shrines since his papacy in 2013. - Leahna Villajos


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