Pope Francis honors ‘Our Lady of Antipolo’ with ‘golden rose’

February 29, 2024 - 9:55 AM
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The Antipolo International Shrine receives a golden rose from Pope Francis to honor Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. (Diocese of Antipolo via CBCP News)

A Vatican official presented a ‘golden rose’ from Pope Francis to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, calling it a reminder for pilgrims of “the life of faith, hope, and charity.”

Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella brought the papal gift and presided over the Mass at the Antipolo Cathedral on Feb. 26 to celebrate its recent declaration as an international shrine.

“May this golden rose remain as an enduring sign for future generations,” said Fisichella, the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization’s Section for Evangelization, in his homily.

The golden rose, according to Vatican News, has ancient roots, symbolizing the papal blessing. The tradition of this gift dates back to the Middle Ages.

Over the centuries, it’s been given to monasteries, shrines, sovereigns, and prominent figures, recognizing their commitment to faith and the common good.

Since his election to the papacy, Pope Francis has already presented several golden roses to Marian shrines, including Aparecida in Brazil in 2017 and Fatima in Portugal the same year.

In his homily, Fisichella said that being an international shrine is not just a privilege “but a mission that must be shared”.

“The presence of such a shrine is a sign of grace that calls all of us to a deep witness of faith,” he said.

The archbishop also said that the grace experienced by pilgrims to the shrine “needs to be communicated and passed on to others.”

“This international shrine… therefore open to the mission of having no boundaries, but instead, opening wide its doors to welcome all, especially the poor and those in need of consolation and peace,” he said.

Fisichella also took the opportunity to request prayers for peace, especially in places “where people suffer unjustly because of the dominance of the violence of war”.

“To all of us falls the responsibility not only to be heralds of Christian hope, but above all, builders of hope, creating concrete signs that give credibility to our worlds,” he said.