Pililla Shrine recognized as ‘affiliate’ of France’s basilica
By Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban
August 7, 2022
The Diocesan Shrine and Parish of St. Mary Magdalene in Pililla, Rizal formally announced today that it received the title of “affiliate church” of the Minor Basilica and Parish of St. Mary Magdalene in the town of Saint-Maximin-la-Ste-Baume, a commune in the southeastern French department of Var, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.
It is the first church in the Philippines to receive such recognition from the French basilica.
Pililla Shrine Rector Fr. Alfredo Meneses, Jr. said during a 6pm Mass that the “Declaration of Support and Recognition as an Affiliate Church” was signed between him and Basilica Rector Père Florian Racine last July 22, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.
“We are glad to receive this gracious blessing as the shrine of Pililla strives to promote the devotion to St. Mary Magdalene not only in the Diocese of Antipolo but also in different places in the Philippines,” Meneses said.
Part of the document signed between the two Rectors reads that “through this (agreement), these two places of pilgrimage hold a spiritual connection through our united effort to continue to promote the Apostle to the Apostles”.
The minor basilica in France was built in Saint-Maximin-la-Ste-Baume town in the 13th century and was first entrusted to the Dominicans as St. Mary Magdalene is the patroness of the order. It is considered a primary shrine of the patroness visited by pilgrims throughout the world.
This shrine currently keeps the believed remains of the saint, especially her skull, which is brought to procession in the town during her feast day on July 22. The church is currently under the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon.
The shrine in Pililla, Rizal was founded by the Franciscans in 1583 and is one of the most visited heritage churches in the province.
It was declared as a shrine by the Diocese of Antipolo in 2018 and will celebrate its 440th anniversary as a parish and fifth anniversary as a shrine in 2023.
According to the shrine sources, a thanksgiving Mass for the recognition will be held at 10am this coming Aug. 21, with Bishop Francisco De Leon of Antipolo as the presider.
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