The Shrine: Core of Faith and Service of the Church
The foremost Shrine dedicated in honor of the Lady Patron, known as the Miraculous Lady of the Filipinos, Mahal na Ina Poon Bato, was enthroned on August 1, 2000. It serves as the Pontifical Seat of the Patriarch of the Apostolic Catholic Church, His Holiness, +Juan Almario EM Calampiano, D.D., OMJF.
The vision for the National Shrine of Ina Poon Bato springs from the propagation of strong devotion to the Holy Mother. As the then Rector and Primus Inter Pares Chancellor to the late ACC Patriarch and Founding Bishop, His Holiness +John Florentine L. Teruel, the former Archbishop Juan Almario was given the ecclesiastical mandate to lead the building and completion of a sanctuary for Our Lady to let Her heavenly and miraculous intercession raise the faith and pious life of Her devotees.
The National Shrine houses the Patriarchate composed of the Offices for Ecumenism, Metropolitan, Lower and Upper Congresses, and Public Affairs.
It is also the site of the Chancery, led by Senior Archbishop +Juan Norman, OMHS whose office comprises the Central Archives, Corporate Affairs, Inter-faith and Inter-religious Relations, Public Affairs, General Treasury, Internal Administration, Pastoral Affairs, Cursillo and the Youth.
The Chancery is the main repository of all official records including the issuance and release of certificates such as Baptismal, Confirmation and Matrimony as well as inter-parochial and diplomatic requirements including that of SEC, NSO and Foreign Affairs compliances.
The Shrine is the central office of the Holy Orders as well as the various Commissions, lay and support organizations.
At the Shrine, Mahal na Ingkong welcomes the multitudes of faithful who flock to hear His spoken messages and receive from Him the gift of the Holy Sealing. Sealed servants celebrate their sealing anniversary or “new birthday” with a “Mananita.” Mahal na Ingkong grants people the opportunity to be blessed individually via the “Dulugan” so that they may directly refer to Him their personal innermost petitions, ask for His blessing and guidance and derive from His words divine inspiration.
The Apostolic Catholic Church: Journeying with Our Lady…
Who could have told that a very beautiful and precious lotus flower may arise from an otherwise muddy swamp? Who would have anticipated that a new-found sanctuary in honor of the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of the Filipinos, may become a haven of converted souls amidst an unlikely backdrop of a depressed settlement which has transformed to be a hub of business and progress now known as a bustling Central Business District regarded as the North Triangle of Quezon City?
The National Shrine of Ina Poon Bato located along the north end of the country’s busiest thoroughfare, EDSA, was born as early as the 1980’s at the core of the Agham – Diliman community. It used to be a densely-populated settlement known as a dumpsite of salvage victims and a hide-away for illegal activities including drugs, thievery and other notorious crimes. Today, this area dons a new and fresh face as a thriving Central Business District soon to be rediscovered as the North Triangle of Quezon City.
But akin to a beautiful and precious lotus flower that flourished amidst a swamp of mud and pollution around what could have been a forsaken place, the symbolic birth of a humble chapel that became the forerunner of a worldwide church and a grand shrine began to unfold in the area. Like the rare lotus variety, the little ACC chapel became a sanctuary – a “spiritual oasis and resort”—of converted souls that rose amidst a neglected barangay named almost proverbially after San Roque, the patron saint of the poor.
By God’s amazing grace, the renewal of souls multiplied the number of the faithful exponentially. Surely, the blazing spirit and moving inspiration from the Blessed Mother Mary, “Mahal na Ina Poon Bato,” made possible the rekindling of the Catholic faith among these urban poor. Moved by their devotion, ACC organized its Block Rosarian movers from all over the country and led thousands of people on its first Marian Rally Celebration at the historic Quezon City Memorial Circle. It has since been an annual international gathering featuring the procession of 27 life-sized images of the Holy Mother in regal carozas.
In this Chapel, the Miraculous Lady of the Filipinos, Ina Poon Bato, in Her queenly mission to bring Christ closer to every heart, blesses Her children with a monthly “Cursillo” Class for men and women, including the youth, where they find renewal likened to a metamorphosis and transformation to a pious way of life.
This spiritual revolution sustained the growth of the Apostolic Catholic Church into the hundreds of thousands, spreading to as far as Hong Kong, Cambodia, Singapore, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Australia, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and other countries. However, in the last 90’s, the Chapel was demolished to give way for the construction of the train depot at the North Avenue end of the MRT.
It later became apparent that the Heavens must have better plans for the unwavering faithful. Supportive of the government thrust towards the welfare and economic development of its constituents, ACC moved silently to its new home which served as a quiet retreat zone for people seeking tranquility in the presence of the unseen God amidst life’s troubles of various sorts. As Divine Providence would have it, the extraordinary challenge to the ACC family led the construction of a once-fragile shrine along Project 7 in EDSA that has become the National Shrine of Ina Poon Bato.
At present, the Shrine is the official site of the Patriarchate House, the pontifical seat of His Holiness, Dr. +John Florentine L. Teruel, P.P., Patriarch and Founding Bishop of the Church. Patriarch Teruel is widely recognized as among the leading church figures in the world. The Shrine serves as the ecclesiastic and central office of the Apostolic Catholic Church, whose full-fledged members are estimated at almost ten million to date.
As an epitome of true love and devotion, the Apostolic Catholic Church continues to be a prime herald of the Catholic faith in the spirit of unity, ecumenism, peace and love with the mission to propagate the sanctifying works of the Holy Spirit, now known and being proclaimed by the name of Mahal na Ingkong (Beloved Ingkong).
The Holy Sealing or baptism of people called upon to be missionaries of the faith held at the Shrine every weekend is a divine appointment with Beloved Ingkong, the Third Person of the Triune God, the Holy Trinity.
This humble yet holy and overflowing inlet also hosts the famous Señor Noemi Festival, dubbed as “Pasko sa Oktubre,”which marks ACC’s celebration of the real date of Christmas or the birth of the Lord every 23rd of October. The festival is capped by a parade of giant magnificent floats representing the various regions of the Philippine archipelago, cultural-themed street dancing and a national youth cheer dance competition.
The magnificent Ina Poon Bato, the Miraculous Lady of the Filipinos, the holy Patroness of the Apostolic Catholic Church, is the Mediatrix to the impossible plight of her devotees.
To the Miraculous Lady of the Filipinos, Mahal na Ina Poon Bato, let us altogether pray for Her heavenly intercession and be clothed by the mantle of Her divine protection. She is the Mother of all Filipinos and the whole world. Let us fly unto Her refuge.
- 1003 EDSA, Project 7 1003 Quezon City, Philippines
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