A national shrine is a Catholic church or other sacred place which has met certain requirements and is given this honor by the national episcopal conference to recognize the church’s special historical, cultural and religious significance.
For a church to receive the status of a national shrine involves a number of steps and certifications. It must first be designated as a diocesan (or archdiocesan) shrine, an honor conferred by the local bishop or archbishop. To be designated as a diocesan shrine, the subject church must be a place “to which numerous members of the faithful make pilgrimage for a special reason of piety.” It must exceed other churches in terms of worship, Christian formation, and social services. When these requirements are met, the parish petitions the bishop to canonically elevate the church.
When devotion has grown, the diocesan shrine may petition the national Conference of Catholic Bishops. Evaluation by the nation’s bishops involves considerations including canon law, liturgy, and doctrine. In the Philippines, the requirements of a national shrine is maintained by CBCP or Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
As of this writing, we have 27 national shrines scattered in our country. The title has been attributed to important pilgrimage churches, as these may be also a cathedral or a minor basilica. As I roam the provinces of Philippines thru my #project81, I take priority on visita iglesia, mostly heritage churches scattered in the archipelago. It is like finding a hidden treasure in every corner of our country!
Below is the list of Catholic national shrines in our country with year of declaration.
The Roman Catholic National Shrines of the Philippines
25 of 28 visited as of October 2022
1. National Shrine of Virgen La Divina Pastora, Gapan 1986
2. Basilica of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Naga 1985
3. Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo
4. National Shrine Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Antipolo 1954
5. National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Parañaque 1985
6. National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Valenzuela 1976
7. National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Makati 2010
8. National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Silang 2018
9. National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Quezon 1997
10. Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Quezon 2015
11. National Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows, Dolores 2017
12. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Manila 2020
13. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila, Quezon 1954
14. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Salambao, Obando 2021
15. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Muntinlupa 1980
16. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Visitation, Gamu 1986
17. National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Parañaque 1958
18. National Shrine of Saint Anne, Hagonoy 1991
19. National Shrine of Saint Anthony of Padua, Pila 2019
20. National Shrine of Saint Jude, Manila 2010
21. National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels, Manila 1986
22. National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio, Santo Tomas 2015
23. National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Marilao 2002
24. National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Makati 1985
1. Basilica of the Holy Child, Cebu
2. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary), Iloilo 2012
3. National Shrine of Our Lady Virgin of Regla, Lapu-Lapu 2007
4. National Shrine of Saint Joseph, Mandaue 2001