Ina ng Novaliches in Sisterhood with St. Mary Major of Rome


Lulu Reclusado-Nario

Soccomm DioNova

The Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Novaliches, Quezon City, now has a spiritual bond of affinity to the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore [St. Mary Major], the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome.

This was proclaimed during solemn ceremonies and a Eucharistic celebration presided by no less than the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, His Most Rev. Charles John Brown D.D., on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ on June 6, 2021.


“This is important because being a sister church of that Mother Church in Rome, we have the same indulgences and all the graces,” declared Rev. Fr. Jose Peregrino Tomas, Our Lady of Mery parish priest “We would like to thank the Papal Nuncio, His Most Rev. Charles John Brown, for making this possible, he was very instrumental in the positive responses that we got from Rome.”

Specifically, Our Lady of Mercy’s affiliation with Santa Maria Maggiore means that when you participate in Liturgical celebrations in the Diocesan Shrine, it is as if you are participating in the Liturgical celebrations in the Papal Basilica.

The following are the Plenary Indulgences to be habitually granted:


1 On the Feast Day of the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, August 5

2 On the Feast of Our Lady of Mercy, Ina ng Novaliches, September 24

3 On all Solemnities of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

4 Once a year, on a day freely chosen by each member of the faithful [pilgrim]

5 Every time the faithful go for devotion in groups to the diocesan shrine or the papal basilica with the following conditions:

. Sacrament of Confession.

. Eucharistic Communion in the Mass.

. Prayers for the Intention of the Holy Father Pope Francis

. The Repudiation of all forms of sin.

. Participation in the Liturgical Celebration in the diocesan shrine, the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer and The Creed.


This affinity proclamation is part of Our Lady of Mercy’s incredible journey this year as it celebrates its 165th anniversary this coming September.


In his Homily, the Papal Nuncio took note of this, saying that in celebrating the Shrine’s anniversary as well as the 500th year anniversary of the Christianity in the Philippines, everyone is encouraged to not just rejoice in the past, but “to make the faith our own in the present.”


“If we think about your anniversaries of 165 years,” he added, “we think about all the babies that were baptized in this church, we think about all the First Holy Communion that took place here, we think about the priests who served here.”

Surely more people will receive the sacraments in this Shrine through Our Lady of Mercy, proclaimed Ina ng Novaliches in January on the occasion of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, by Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches.


Fr. Rino cited the importance of the Shrine being part of Novaliches, dubbed a town of heroes, of brave people, adding that they, too have been very courageous in many ways. One way is to dare to dream big dreams.


“First we dreamed of becoming a shrine and it happened, and we became the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mercy,” he said. “We dreamed of having an affinity with the first Marian church in Rome and it happened, and we hope to continue dreaming big and we would like to thank the many people who shared our dreams.”


As he was expressing his gratitude, he announced another dream coming true.


“The Vatican has approved the Canonical Coronation of Our Lady of Mercy,” he announced. “The Papal Nuncio handed to Bishop Gaa the envelope containing the papers pertaining to this.”


“We will now be preparing for the coronation and we thank the Lord and Our Lady of Mercy for all the grace.”


Dreams indeed do come true, but at the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mercy in Novaliches, dreams come true big time. As Fr. Rino concluded, “the Good Lord can never be outdone with His generosity.

Archbishop Charles John Brown, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, presenting the certificate before the faithful of Novaliches. 
(Photo courtesy of Jun Magtagnob)