Biñan church declared a shrine

A PARISH church in the city of Biñan in Laguna which houses a centuries-old dark wood image of Saint Isidore the Farmer has been elevated from a local heritage site into a diocesan shrine.

The San Isidro Labrador Parish Church will be the eighth shrine in the diocese, which covers the Laguna province. A date has yet to be announced for the solemn declaration of the shrine.

According to CBCPNews, the church was declared a shrine as the church currently celebrates the 400th year anniversary of St. Isidore’s canonization on March 12.

To be designated as a diocesan shrine, the subject church must be a place “to which numerous members of the faithful make pilgrimage for a special reason of piety” and it must exceed other churches in terms of worship, Christian formation and social services. When these requirements are met, the parish petitions the bishop to canonically elevate the church.

In this case, it was Bishop Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo who approved the petition to declare San Isidro Labrador Parish Church as a diocesan shrine.

Biñan was one of the earliest Spanish settlements in Laguna founded around 1571 with the arrival of Captain Juan de Salcedo.

The first structure of the Biñan church began construction in 1690 and was completed in 1694.

The church, however, had gone through several destructions and reconstructions due to calamities. The present look of the church was constructed in 1970.

The parish was first administered by the Augustinians, followed by the Dominicans until it was pastored by Filipino secular priests.