The International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Antipolo Cathedral) will hold a special Rite of Reception and Enthronement of a first class relic of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo on Sunday, 27 August 2023, at 12 noon.
The enthronement will be followed by a Solemn Eucharistic Concelebration to be presided by Most Rev. Ruperto Cruz Santos, D.D., the Bishop of Antipolo. Among the other concelebrants are Rev. Fr. Julio Dieguez, Regional Vicar of Opus Dei for the Philippines, and Rev. Fr. Reynante (Nante) Tolentino, Rector of the International Shrine.
Liturgical song composer Lester Delgado wrote an original piece for this occasion, which he entitled: ‘Blessed Alvaro - Guiding Light.” Lester considers this as an "opportunity to serve a blessed man and the Catholic Church."
Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, the former Prelate of Opus Dei, made a pilgrimage to our Lady of Antipolo on 30 January 1987. In 2021, Father Nante installed a plaque at the shrine to commemorate this visit by a Blessed of the Catholic Church. “Since dumaan at nagdasal siya dito, maganda na may relic siya para sa pamamagitan ng relic ma bless ang mga tao at ma inspire sila sa way of life ni Blessed Alvaro,” (Since he came and prayed here, it is good to have his relic so that through it people will be blessed and be inspired by the way of life of Blessed Alvaro), Father Nante said.
Father Nante explained that the blood relic of Blessed Alvaro will be kept on permanent display at the shrine. When the pilgrims go up to kiss our Lady’s mantle, he said, they can visit the special area of Blessed Alvaro’s relic and the other relics that have been given to the Cathedral through the years.
Backed by a recommendation letter from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in 2021 Father Nante, as rector of the cathedral, filed the application to the Vatican for recognition of the Cathedral as an International Shrine. He mentioned the name of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo as one of the pilgrims to the shrine.
The CBCP letter described the Antipolo cathedral as the country’s “prime pilgrim Church because of the countless devotees and pilgrims who have come and experienced the special presence of the Blessed Mother in their life through the pastoral care of pilgrims in this shrine”.
The Holy See recognized the special cultural, historical, and religious significance of the Cathedral and elevated it to the status of International Shrine effective March 25, 2023. It is only the 11th International Shrine in the world and the first International Shrine in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
The Antipolo Cathedral is home to the image of the brown-skinned Madonna known around the world as “Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje”. The image arrived in the Philippines from Mexico on July 18, 1626.
“Tayo na sa Antipolo!” Father Nante invited everyone to witness the rite of enthronement of the blood relic of Blessed Alvaro del Portillo at noontime on Sunday, 27 August 2023.