(November 28,2009) – Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles formally bares the pilgrimage churches where the faithful can come and enjoy the spiritual benefits that accrue to them during the “year of grace”. During the Saturday evening,eve of the First Sunday of Advent, in a Mass broadcast live in the two radio stations of the Archdiocese of Lipa and shown in local cable television, he enumerated the twenty one churches, shrines and monasteries that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, endowed the privilege of granting plenary indulgence to pilgrims visiting these during the Centennial Year (April 10, 2010 to April 10, 2011). He enumerated the following churches as “jubilee churches”: Vicariate I – Parish Church of St. John the Baptist (Lian, Batangas), parish Church of the Immaculate Concepcion (Balayan, Batangas), Parish Church of St. Francis Xavier (Nasugbu, Batangas), Parish Church of St. Raphael (Calaca, Batangas); Vicariate 2 – Minor Basilica of St. Martin of Tours (Taal, Batangas), Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay (Labac, Taal, Batangas), Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Therese of the Child jesus (Sta. Teresita, Batangas); Vicariate 3 – Parish Church of the Most Holy Trinity and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Glorious Cross (Pallocan West, Batangas City), Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Concepcion (Batangas City); Vicariate 4 – Parish Church of St. John Nepomucene (San Juan, Batangas), Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph the Patriarch (San Jose, Batangas); Vicariate 5 – Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Sebastian (Lipa City), Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer (Banaybanay, Lipa City), Divino Amor Chapel (Redemptorist, Lipa City), Mnastery of Mt. Carmel of Our Lady of Mediatrix of all Grace (Antipolo del Norte, Lipa City), Monastery of Clarisas Capuchinas Sacramentarias (Lipa City), Monastery of St. Benedict (Pinagtungulan, Lipa City), Monastery of Minims Nuns of St. Francis de Paola (Lumbang, Lipa City); Vicariate 6 – Parish Church of St. Padre Pio (San Pedro, Sto. Tomas, Batangas), Parish Church of St. John Evangelist (Tanauan City). He also announced the late inclusion of the Parish Church of Nuestra Senora de la Soledad (Darasa, Tanauan City), Monastery of the Missionary Catechists of the sacred Heart (Sabang, Lipa City), Chapel of Binukalan (Alitagtag, Batangas) and the Parish Church of the Holy Family (Bolo, Bauan, Batangas).
“Those who would come on pilgrimage to these churches, after having fulfilled the necessary conditions will receive plenary indulgence for themselves and for their beloved dead,” explained the ARchbishop. “This is the great blessing throughout the year that the Lord offers to all who would come during the Jubilee year.”
Enumerating the conditions, he cited the following: ”reception of the sacrament of reconciliation within the octave before or after the prayerful visit, participation in the Eucharist and reception of the Holy communion on the said day, praying one Our father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be and the Apostles’ creed for the intentions of the Holy Father, and doing an act of charity.” a plenary indulgence is the Church’s way of remission of all punishment due to forgiven sins which a person can apply to oneself or to soul in purgatory. The Archbishop clearly emphasized that this cannot be applied by one to another person still living. He said that this applies to all the faithful of the archdicoese as well as those of the suffragan dioceses and even coming from distant dioceses when they come in pilgrimage.
The local church of Lipa was elevated to a diocese by Pope St. Pius X on April 10, 1910. It used to comprise the provinces of Batangas. Laguna, Quezon, Aurora, Marinduque and the island of Mindoro. In the course of time, new ecclesiastical territories were erected from the original diocese thus creating what are now Prelature of Infanta, Diocese of Lucena, Diocese of Marinduque, Diocese of Gumaca, Apostolic Vicariates of San Jose and that of Calapan.
Later, on June 20, 1972, Pope Paul VI elevated it to a Metropolitan Archdiocese comprising all those territories excluding the diocese of San Pablo which became a suffragan of Manila.