CEBU, Philippines—Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal yesterday declared St. James the Apostle parish church in Compostela town as Cebu’s own ‘Santiago de Compostela,’ th e newest archdiocesan shrine for pilgrims to visit.
In a decree of conferment he issued on July 24, Vidal named the shrine “Santiago de Compostela,” in reference to the famous pilgrimage Cathedral in Galicia, Spain.
“They don’t have to go outside the Philippines or outside Cebu anymore because there is already a shrine here,” Vidal said.
“They (the faithful) can avail of the services (of the shrine) by going on pilgrimages.
While going on pilgrimages they have the opportunity to hear Mass and receive the sacraments and prayers in honor of the saint,” Vidal told Cebu Daily News.
Vidal said people who will visit the new shrine on specific days will be granted a “plenary indulgence,” which means, their sins will be forgiven after receiving the sacrament of penance and offering a prayers.
Pilgrims will attain this if they visit the shrine any day within July 25, 2007 and July 25, 2008.
Or any day of the year when July 25 falls on a Sunday.
He also said that the pilgrim can also partake of “spiritual benefits” if he visits the shrine any day as long as he walks in a procession at least a kilometer stretch to the shrine. If the pilgrim is sick, he may visit the shrine on a vehicle.
Vidal said that aside from the spiritual benefits, people can also take advantage of economic opportunities, like selling candles.
“There is no limit to the number of shrines (in a diocese) but not every (parish) can be a shrine,” said Vidal.
He explained that only those parishes which meet the “special requirements” can be declared an Archdiocesan shrine. One of these requirements, is the age of the Church, which should date back to “antiquity.”
Another requirement is if people usually go there to pray and if the priest is willing to look after the “spiritual” well-being of pilgrims expected to visit the shrine.
“If they have these requirements then they can apply at the Commission on Worship, which will study the application.
If they qualify, everything will be documented and they give it to me,” he said.
“Afterwards, I ask my Council of Consultors for approval,” he added.
Vidal had earlier declared other Cebu parishes as archdiocesan shrines including one in Bogo town, Punta Princesa in Cebu City, Maguikay in Mandaue City and Tuburan town.
Cebu has three national shrines; namely, the Basilica del Sto. Niño, the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City and the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Virgin of the Rule in Lapu-Lapu City.