Vatican Grants Special Privilege to Taal Shrine
Pilgrims to the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in historic Taal, Batangas may now receive the plenary indulgence granted to those who visit the ancient church of St. Mary Major in Rome, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said Thursday night.
The CBCP said the Vatican has issued a decree signed by St. Mary Major archpriest-emeritus Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, granting the Caysasay Shrine the same special privilege attached to the Roman Basilica.
“Pilgrims who visit and pray at the Shrine will receive plenary indulgence provided they fulfill the prescribed conditions of going to confession, participating in a Mass and praying for the intention of the Holy Father,” the CBCP said on its news site.
Archdiocesan media director Fr. Nonie Dolor said the Vatican’s pronouncement was timely as the archdiocese prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles will lead a Mass of Declaration at the Shrine on June 3 to formally announce to the public the special privilege.
Shrine rector Fr. Jose Maria Loyola Cumagun said the ceremonies will include the reading of the decree and placing the original Latin text and its translation as a marker at the shrine’s entrance.
Our Lady of Caysasay
Local legend says that a local fisherman found the Marian icon at the Pansipit River, the CBCP said. The icon came to be known as Our Lady of Caysasay, and the Marian image was eventually enshrined in Labac along the banks of the Pansipit River.
The shrine comes to life when pilgrims arrive every Saturday, which is the day set for devotion to Our Lady.
“Miracles attributed to the image attracted many devotees to make annual pilgrimages to the Shrine, especially Chinese Catholics who regard the image of Our Lady of Caysasay as their own,” the CBCP said. –CGL/KG, GMA News