Decrees



Of the many images of Mary
this synod proposes special honor and reverence
to the image of Our Lady of Candles.
Here she presents to us Christ the Lord,
The Light of the World,
further symbolized by the lighted
candle she is holding – an anticipation of that time
when, through the cross,
we will reach the light that knows no setting.
In this image she is significantly presented to us as
the odigitria of the early church,
as one who shows us
the way.
(Theological Overview, Third Diocesan Synod of Jaro)

 On February 21, 1981, the image of Our Lady of Candles, venerated not just by the people of Jaro but also by the people of Western Visayas and beyond, was canonically crowned by the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, the only image of Our Lady in the Philippines to be canonically crowned by the pope himself.  This was occasioned by his visit to Jaro where he spoke of the role of the lay people in the mission of the church.

The year after, on April 21, 1982, the same Servant of God, named Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, Patroness of Western Visayas.  Both canonical coronation and being named Patroness are official recognitions of what has already been a fact in the spiritual life not just of the people of Panay but also of the whole Western Visayas, and those who trace their roots to this locale.  The yearly pilgrimage to her shrine in February and the daily devotions of the people coming from afar bringing with them testimonies of divine interventions and spiritual graces, attest to the reality  that she is indeed Mother to the people of Western Visayas.

Now, therefore, on the occasion of its re-dedication,

I hereby decree, declare and proclaim the Metropolitan Cathedral of Jaro which is at the same time the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, Jaro, Iloilo City, where her venerable image is enshrined and venerated, as a Diocesan Shrine, in accordance with Church Law, with all the duties, rights and privileges given to a Diocesan Shrine by the Code of Canon Law, as well as other Church Documents particularly the Directory of Popular Devotions and the Liturgy

Given in this Church of Our Lady of Candles on the Solemnity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 17 of November 2010,

 

Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D.
Archbishop of Jaro


LETTER OF PETITION

July 5, 2010

 

Most Rev. Nereo Odchimar, D.D.
Bishop of Tandag
President
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

 

You Excellency,

Grace and Peace!

On February 21, 1981, the image of Our Lady of Candles, venerated not just by the people of Jaro but also by the people of Western Visayas and beyond, was canonically crowned by the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, the only image of Our Lady in the Philippines to be canonically crowned by the pope himself. This was occasioned by his visit to Jaro where he spoke of the role of the lay people in the mission of the church.

The year after, on April 21, 1982, the same pope named Our Lady of Candles, Patroness of Western Visayas. Both canonical coronation and being named as Patroness of Western Visayas are official recognitions of the hierarchy of what has already been a fact in the spiritual life not just of Ilonggos but also of the people of Western Visayas, and those who trace their roots to this locale. The yearly pilgrimage to her shrine in February and the daily devotions of people coming from afar attest to this reality – that she is indeed Mother to the people of Western Visayas.

The many stories surrounding her image, dismissed perhaps as pious tales by the local hierarchy, do not diminish in anyway the fact that people come in great numbers to honor her and to present to her their petitions. This in itself is a strong though silent testimony to the belief that she is indeed a caring mother, sensitive to the needs of her children. Indeed, these so called pious tales, told and retold for hundreds of years, are stories that came to be believed as true and perpetuated in time as truth, because of similar, though personal stories of divine interventions in the lives of her devotees.

It is for this reason that the Archdiocese of Jaro has renovated and almost completed the cathedral church so that it can be a worthy and dignified place of worship not just for the parish and the Archdiocese but also for pilgrims. There are established times for masses and confessions and a group has founded the Cofradia of Our Lady of Candles to spearhead the formation and spiritual renewal of the pilgrims, taking for its specific charism, lay involvement in the mission of the church – a call sounded by Pope John Paul II himself when he crowned the
Candelaria almost 30 years ago. Thus, the pilgrimage to the Candelaria will not merely focus on prayer, but can become an occasion for spiritual renewal and conversion, and even a place to hear and respond to the call for mission.

In this regard, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of her canonical coronation and the papal declaration naming Our Lady of Candles patroness of Western Visayas in 2011, we would like to petition the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to grant the de facto shrine of Our Lady of Candles in Jaro, official recognition as a National Shrine.

As far as the canonical requirements are concerned, we believe that we have satisfactorily complied with them as stated above. All the other provisions regarding National Shrines which their Excellencies would want to attach to the granting of our petition, we will faithfully comply.

Anticipating our thanks for Their Excellencies’ kind consideration, we take this opportunity, on behalf of the entire Archdiocese of Jaro, and the whole of Western Visayas to renew our sentiments of love and respect.

 

Respectfully Yours in Christ,

 

Sgd. Most Rev. Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D.

Archbishop of Jaro

Sgd. Most. Rev. Onesimo C. Godoncillo, D.D.
Archbsihop of Capiz

Sgd. Most Rev. Vicente M. Navarra, D.D.
Bishop of Bacolod

Sgd. Most Rev. Jose Romeo O. Lazo, D.D.
Bishop of Antique

Sgd. Most Rev. Patrick A. Buzon, D.D.
Bishop of Kabankalan

Sgd. Most Rev. Jose F. Advindula, D.D.
Bishop of San Carlos

Sgd. Most Rev. Jose Corazon T. Tala-oc, D.D.
Bishop of Romblon

Sgd. Most Rev. Gerardo A. Aliminaza, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro

Sgd. Very Rev. Msgr. Ulysses Dalida
Administrator
Diocese of Kalibo

 


CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES

DECREE

Attending to the formal petition of the Archdiocese of Jaro, Iloilo, pursuant to the provisions of Canons 1230, 1231 and 1234 of the Code of Canon Law and upon the unanimous approval given by the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines during its 103rd Plenary assembly held on July 9 -11, 2011, at the Pius XII Catholic Center, Manila, the undersigned hereby issue this

Decree of Establishment

of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Jaro
as the

NATIONAL SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF CANDLES.

This decree is hereby promulgated following the review and consequent approval of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, having determined the worthiness of the sacred place for the celebration of the sacraments, particularly the Holy Eucharist and Penance; the Church structure has been built and dedicated using the prescribed rites according to the directives of the Second Vatican Council; and there exists notable programs for pilgrims.

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

Issued at the CBCP Secretariat, Intramuros, Manila, on the 16th of July 2011, memorial of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

 

+ROMULO G. VALLES, D.D.
Archbishop of Zamboanga
Chairman, Episcopal Commission on Liturgy

+NEREO P. ODICHIMAR, D.D.
Bishop of Tandag
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines