The parish church and shrine dedicated to St. John Paul II became the Philippines' 28th national shrine on April 1, 2023, in Bataan province’s Hermosa town.
A mass was led by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and Cardinal Jose Advincula of the Archdiocese of Manila, Bishops, and priests attended as well.
Following the official declaration, the church will be called the “National Shrine and Parish of St. John Paul II.”
Cardinal Advincula emphasized that the people’s encounter with God at the shrine “should lead us to an authentic encounter with one another.”
“Let us share the self-sacrificing love Jesus receives and experiences with our brothers and sisters at this national shrine,” Advincula said.
Meanwhile, Bishop David said, "It is not just a building but the Body of Christ.”
"And we are all called to walk Christ's path as a synodal Church... through communion, participation and mission,” David said.
In a plenary meeting on January 29, 2023, the bishops approved a petition requesting the elevation of Poland's only diocesan shrine to a national one.
Pope John Paul II celebrated mass for 400,000 Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodian refugees who fled Morong town during his first visit to the Philippines in 1981.
In Culis, a village near the Bataan-Pampanga border, a more prominent shrine was built to make it more accessible and accommodate more pilgrims.
Archbishop Charles Brown, papal nuncio and priest of the refugee camp, led the rededication Mass marking the pope's 40th visit to the camp on February 21, 2022.
Hermosa, the location of the St. John-dedicated parish and diocese shrine, is in the province of Bataan. Bataan is located in the southwest region of Central Luzon. It is approximately 139.4 kilometers from Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.