Manila’s Sta. Ana Church celebrates ‘national shrine’ status

Manila’s Sta. Ana Church celebrates ‘national shrine’ status

The centuries-old image of Our Lady of the Abandoned is displayed outside her national shrine for the traditional “Handugan” in Manila’s Sta. Ana district on May 5, 2021. PHOTO FROM NSOLASAM FACEBOOK PAGE

By CBCP News

May 13, 2021

Manila, Philippines

The historic Sta. Ana Church in Manila dedicated to Our Lady of the Abandoned has been formally elevated to a national shrine status.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo led the ceremony on Wednesday to declare the 18th-century church as National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned.

In his homily, the apostolic administrator of the Manila archdiocese emphasized that attached to the church’s new status is both an honor and a responsibility.

As a national shrine, he said the Franciscan-run church is called to carry on its peculiar function as a center of devotion and charity.

“So I challenge the people here to intensify our faith in God and service to others,” Pabillo said.

The ceremony took place more than a year after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines approved the petition to raise the church as a national shrine during their January 2020 plenary assembly.

The parish is the first Franciscan Mission established outside Manila in 1578. The church started its construction in 1720 and was completed in 1725.

It is also home to the 300-year old miraculous image of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados de Manila also known as “La Gobernadora de Manila”.

In its decree dated Nov. 1, 2020, the CBCP said that the devotion to Our Lady of the Abandoned “became very popular and enduring over the centuries”.

It noted “miracles of every kind” attributed to Our Lady from cures to illnesses, the conversion of sinners, her reported “visitations” to devotees, to numerous petitions answered through her intercession.

Devotees and pilgrims from across the country, the CBCP added, continue to flock to Sta. Ana Church all year round “to pay homage, to seek the loving gaze, and ask the maternal intercession of Our Lady of the Abandoned”.

There are now 27 national shrines in the Philippines including the Obando Church in Bulacan province, whose petition was only approved by the CBCP in January this year.

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