BALANGA CITY — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines this Sunday elevated the first and only shrine in the country dedicated to St. John Paul II to a national shrine.
The Diocese of Balanga announced that the CBCP in its ongoing 125th plenary declared the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint John Paul II in Barangay Culis, Hermosa, Bataan as a national shrine. More than 80 bishops are meeting at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila.
Bataan Bishop Ruperto C. Santos called the newest national shrine, the country’s 28th, as “the gift of the Philippine Church to the whole world.”
“We will show to them the identity of the Filipinos who are always ready to welcome and help other people, especially the migrants and the refugees,” the bishop was quoted as saying.
Before its transfer to its present site in Barangay Culis, the shrine was first established in the former Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Morong, Bataan, home to more than 400,000 Indo-Chinese refugees who fled their countries in the late 1970s.
The Morong location was where then Pope John Paul II held Mass for the refugees sometime in February of 1981.