By Leslie Ann Aquino
The number of Minor Basilicas in the Philippines is now 15 following the elevation of the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel into such status.
The National Shrine of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Quezon City will be formally declared a Minor Basilica late Monday, in solemn rites to be led by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.
Last November, the Vatican approved the petition to elevate the Marian shrine to the minor basilica status. The shrine was built in 1954 at the same time the Order of Discalced Carmelites was founded in the Archdiocese of Manila.
In 1975, it was elevated to a parish church with Fr. Paul O’Sullivan as its first parish priest.
It was in December 2015 when the parish was declared a national shrine during a ceremony led Archbishop Socrates Villegas, then president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
The following year, the Apostolic Penitentiary granted “a spiritual bond of affinity” between the shrine and the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.
The other basilicas in the county are the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Batangas City; Minor Basilica of St. Martin of Tours, Batangas; Basilica Minore Del Sto. Nino de Cebu in Cebu; Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral) in Manila; Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia, Camarines Sur; Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Manila; Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Charity Parish of Sta. Ana in Ilocos; Minor Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in Quezon; Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Manila; Minor Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Piat in Cagayan; Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Manila; Minor Basilica of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan; Basilica Minore of St. John the Baptist Shrine of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, Ilocos Norte and Minor Basilica of San Sebastian in Manila.