Monday, October 24, 2011

Diocesan Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Antipolo City

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Dedication of the Shrine to St. Therese
October 1, 2011

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St. Thérèse is one of the modern-day saints (I like to call) that has a strong following nowadays, the other would be Padre Pio.

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus".She felt an early call to religious life, and overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, became a nun and joined two of her older sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy. After nine years as a Carmelite religious, having fulfilled various offices such as sacristan and assistant to the novice mistress, and having spent the last eighteen months in Carmel in a night of faith, she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. The impact of The Story of a Soul, a collection of her autobiographical manuscripts, printed and distributed a year after her death to an initially very limited audience, was great, and she rapidly became one of the most popular saints of the twentieth century. Pope Pius XI made her the "star of his pontificate". She was beatified in 1923, and canonized in 1925. The speed of this process may be seen by comparison with that applied to a great heroine of Thérèse, Joan of Arc, who died in 1431 but was not canonized until 1920. Thérèse was declared co-patron of the missions with Francis Xavier in 1927, and named co-patron of France with Joan of Arc in 1944. On 19 October 1997 Pope John Paul II declared her the thirty-third Doctor of the Church, the youngest person, and only the third woman, to be so honored. Devotion to Thérèse has developed around the world. Read more about St. Therese way is all confidence and love.

Opening Ceremonies

Program started at 9:00 am. All the Parish Priets of Antipolo, led by Bishop Gabriel Reyes were in attendance. Each were wearing a specially designed vestment (with an image of St. Therese) just for the occassion.

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At this point, all the building plans were handed to Bishop Reyes signifying that the Shrine is now a part of the Parishes of the Diocese of Antipolo.

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And the doors of the Church were opened...

The Processional

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The Rites of Dedication

The Church uses a lot of symbols in its many activities. Today's dedication is no different. This has been one of the longest masses I have attended, running for about 3 hours, since aside from the regular flow of the mass in between are the rites:

1. Blessing with Water

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Homily of Bishop Reyes wherein he said "the state of the Parish is a reflection of the faith of the People.Community." Note that state does not imply grandiosity, it's more of how a church is well-kept or maintained.

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2. Annointing with Oil

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3. Incensation of the Altar and the Church

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4. Preparing the Altar where the greatest part of the Mass transpires, the Consecration

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5. Lighting of the Altar and the whole Church

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6. Declaration of the Church as a Diocesan Shrine of St. Therese and the Parish Priest as Rector. Afterwards, the relic of St. Therese is placed in its altar (left side altar).

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Words of Gratitude from the Parish Priest

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Scenes from the Outside

It was a rainy Saturday morning however the Parish has planned out the event well to accommodate all devotees who would want to witness this event.

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The Last Rite...unveiling of the Markers, the dedication is complete!

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