Minor basilica title eyed for Ilocos Norte church

LAOAG CITY — The Diocese of Laoag has sent a letter to Pope Francis requesting that the St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Badoc town, Ilocos Norte be declared as a minor basilica.

The church is where the revered image of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, patroness of Ilocos Norte, is enshrined.

Bishop Renato Mayugba said the letter addressed to the Pontiff was sent last year.

Minor basilica is a title given to a Roman Catholic church buildings. Canon law states that no church building can be honored with the title of basilica unless by apostolic grant or from immemorial custom.

“We are very excited that the Bishop is pushing for the declaration of Badoc as a minor basilica,” said Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos.

Should Badoc church be declared as a minor basilica, the governor assured all access roads and facilities around the area will be improved for the expected increase of visitors.

Like the once sleepy town of Manaoag, which is now being frequented by pilgrims since it was declared as a minor Basilica in Pangasinan, Marcos hopes Badoc town will be the same.

Every month of May since Marcos served as governor of Ilocos Norte, she initiated in 2012 a province wide festival in honor of La Virgen Milagrosa.

The celebration of La Virgen Milagrosa Festival is the grandest of all festivals in the province as it has become more fun and colorful over the past five years.

Meanwhile, a special mass in honor of La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc was to be held on Saturday at 5 p.m. to be officiated by Bishop Mayugba.

Mayugba said he would make some important announcements for the Diocese of Laoag. PNA-northboundasia.com