By Christina Hermoso
The 40-day preparation for the elevation of the Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc to a Minor Basilica in February has begun.
Laoag Bishop Renato Mayugba said it was important for the faithful “to be spiritually prepared for the big celebration.”
The mass, to be led by Mayugba on February 5, will be concelebrated by Cotabato Archbishop Emeritus Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, while Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia will read the Decree of Concession.
Osaka Japan Archbishop Thomas Aquino Manyo Cardinal Maeda, the first cardinal of Japan, will also attend the event.
The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments approved the request of the Diocese of Laoag to elevate the nearly 400-year-old Marian shrine to a Minor Basilica last November 30.
“We shall be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the presence of Our Lady of Badoc the Japanese Madonna in 2020. It was found floating on the sea in Barangay Dadalaquiten between Sinait, Ilocos Sur and Barangay Paguetpet in Badoc Ilocos Norte in 1620 with a crucifix,” Mayugba said.
The image, which has Japanese features, was believed to be bound for Japan for a mission to spread Christianity at a time of intense Christian persecution when many Christians were martyred for the faith including San Lorenzo Ruiz.