By Rey Anthony Chiu | 01:48 PM August 08, 2022

But did you know that doing pilgrimages to three churches in Bohol attains for the spiritual traveler the same graces and indulgences when one visits a certain church in Rome in Italy?

A spiritual visit to the Marian Churches of our Lady of Light (Birhen sa Kasilak) in Loon, Our Lady of the Assumption (Birhen dela Asuncion) in Dauis and Virgin of Guadalupe Extremadura (Birhen sa Guadalupe) in Loboc can enjoy all the spiritual benefits as if they were visiting and praying in the Basilica Papale de Sancta Maria Maggiore in Rome.

The Basilica of Mary Major, or sometimes called the Lady of the Snows, is the largest catholic Marian church in Rome and houses in its chapel the venerated image of the Virgin Mary as the health and protector of the Roman people (Salus populi Romani).

Located under the basilica’s high altar is the Crypt of the Nativity, or “Bethlehem Crypt,” and features a crystal reliquary which is said to contain wood from the Holy Crib of Jesus Christ.

The papal basilica of Mary major is among the four major papal basilicas in Rome and one of the seven pilgrim churches in Rome with holy doors that open only on the jubilee year.

The seven pilgrim basilicas form the backbone of the tradition of visiting all seven churches as started by Philip Neri as a spiritual journey to combine conviviality and the sharing of a common religious experience through discovering of the heritage of the early Saints.

Naturally a journey that is believed to offer spiritual indulgences like forgiveness of sins and saving from eternal punishment as well as other indulgences, entering through the church holy doors on the year of the jubilee, makes up for a special remission of sins and universal pardon, in the same tradition that slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.

Founded on the tradition mentioned in Leviticus, on a jubilee year, often 50 years, anyone who enters the basilica through its holy doors or a church established with a spiritual affinity to its mother church, could obtain the same privileges for the pilgrim.

Last year, the Roman Marian Basilica has established a “bond of spiritual affinity” between it and the two churches in Bohol: in the Marian churches Dauis and Loon.

The year before that, the same Roman Basilica also established the same bond of spiritual affinity to the Marian church of Loboc, which is the seat of the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe Extremadura.

With the special bond of spiritual affinity, one need not go to Rome to get to Maria Maggiore, as a pilgrimage to these local churches could obtain for a pilgrim the same graces and indulgences one may get in getting to Rome.

With these, local tour and travel operators are looking at tourism packages that would lead to these pilgrim sites in Bohol, for local and even international tourists who need not go to Rome to earn the same indulgences.

The tour package will form one circuit for Bohol’s faith tourism, explains Travel Village Tours owner Lourdes T. Sultan, during a recent engagement with the local media. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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