Jump to content

Basilica of Our Lady of Piat

Coordinates: 17°47′13″N 121°28′48″E / 17.78698°N 121.48013°E / 17.78698; 121.48013
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Piat Basilica
  • Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat
  • Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Piat
Basílica Menor de Nuestra Señora de Piat (Spanish)
Basilica facade in 2022
Piat Basilica is located in Luzon
Piat Basilica
Piat Basilica
Location in Luzon
Piat Basilica is located in Philippines
Piat Basilica
Piat Basilica
Location in the Philippines
17°47′13″N 121°28′48″E / 17.78698°N 121.48013°E / 17.78698; 121.48013
LocationPoblacion, Piat, Cagayan
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusMinor basilica
DedicationOur Lady of Piat
DedicatedApril 19, 2024
ConsecratedJune 22, 1999 (as a minor basilica)
Functional statusActive
Heritage designation"Shrine of the Black Virgin Mary Our Lady of Piat"
Architectural typeBasilica

The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat (Spanish: Basilica Menor de Nuestra Señora de Piat) is one of the twenty-one minor basilicas in the Philippines. It is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. Located at Poblacion, Piat, in the province of Cagayan, the shrine is dubbed as the "Pilgrimage Center of Northeast Luzon" and is home to the centuries-old brown Madonna Our Lady of Piat.


The history of Our Lady of Piat dates back to 1604 when a black image of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus on her left arm was brought to the Philippines from Macau by the Dominican friars.[1] It was originally called the Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario (Our Lady of the Holy Rosary).[2] A small sanctuary for the religious image was built in 1604 by the local Itawis.[3] The image was brought to Lal-lo Church in Cagayan (then the Episcopal See of Nueva Segovia), to be known by the Cagayanos. The image was also brought to Piat, and Tuguegarao in 1622. During the visitation it was replaced by a more beautiful image from Manila, but the people demanded that the original image be returned to them, so it was brought back to Piat and was enthroned in the small sanctuary.

During the feast of St. Stephen on December 26, 1623, the image of Our Lady was solemnly brought to the Ermita from Piat with the people following in devout procession.[4] The people of Tuao did likewise marching in procession towards the Ermita to welcome Our Lady with great rejoicing and happiness.[4] The following day the Ermita was blessed and a very solemn Mass was officiated by the deacon with an attendance of more than 10,000 people ("pasaban de diez mil personas") who came from all the neighboring towns.[4] The priest noted that, it was amazing that such a large multitude would have gathered there, considering that the area was no thickly populated, and that the work of evangelization had been going on for only 25 years.[4] The lady started the first Christians of Cagayan.[4] According to the same historian, Fr. Aduarte, the crowd that attended the dedication of the new shrine of Our Lady of Piat was really impressive. Aduarte adds to this effect, by way of an explanation: "...So the holy Image moved the natives ('indians') to love, esteem and revere her."[4] "An important woman from Piat ('belonging to the "principalia." Or local aristocracy as indicated by the honorific title of Doña') [Doña Ines Magui'abbun] took upon herself the responsibility of looking after the Ermita" and became the first camarera (caretaker) of Our Lady.[4] For this purpose, she decided to open up a new field (sementera) and built a house near the shrine so she and her servants could visit the sacred place often. Besides, she placed a votive lamp, that kept always burning before the venerated image and thus became the first shrine of the Lady.[4]

In the 1700s, the people built a more spacious church of more durable materials on a hill about a mile from the parish church of Sto. Domingo.[3] A new sanctuary was built by Rev. Fr. Diego Pinero and later restored by Fr. Jose Gurumeta in 1875.[1][3]

On June 22, 1999, the sanctuary was elevated as a basílica minore (minor basilica).[1][5] It was the first basílica menor in the region and the fourth in the Philippines. The rites were officiated by Vatican representative Antonio María Cardinal Javierre Ortas.[3][6] A santacruzan was also sponsored by the Department of Tourism in celebration of the basilica.[3] Week-long special prayers and services were also held in 29 parishes in the province, a Marian choral contest at the St. Paul University Philippines in Tuguegarao, medical mission, grand procession of all the images of patron saints and the Our Lady and a cultural show on the documented miracles of the Virgin of Piat.[3]


The entrance arch of the church. The engraved Spanish phrase means "Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Piat".

The Basilica of Our Lady of Piat is located in the town of Piat, 41 kilometers (25 mi) northwest of Tuguegarao City or about 30 minutes by land transportation. This pilgrimage site attracts a large number of devotees especially from June 23 to 39 when the Sambali Festival is celebrated and July 1 and 2 for the feast of Our Lady of Piat.[2]

Architectural design[edit]

Side walls of the basilica

The Basilica of Our Lady of Piat features a unique entrance arch. It is located at the back of the church, and one has to go around from the entrance to see the church facade. On the arch is inscribed Basilica Minore Nuestra Senora De Piat (Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Piat). The basilica has a simple facade flanked to the left by a tall belfry. It is located on top of a hill to avoid flooding brought about by the seasonal overflowing of the Chico River. The church structure is mainly made of red bricks, which is noticeably common among churches in Cagayan Valley, in contrast to other old churches made of limestone and coral stone in other parts of the Philippines. The interiors have a curved ceiling made of wood with historical images and accounts at the top of the walls. Enshrined at the altar is the Blessed Virgin Mary covered in a glass case. There are also verandahs inside the church which makes the shrine elegant. At the back of the church is a staircase that leads to a window located behind the case of the Virgin Mary wherein devotees can touch the dress of Our Lady.

Adjacent to the basilica is the Piat Basilica Museum that holds several artifacts related to the Basilica or Our lady of Piat. Also surrounding the sanctuary are blessing sites for religious items, the parish convent and life-sized representations of the Stations of the Cross. Masses are offered every day, but thousands of devotees attend every Sunday.[7]


  1. ^ a b c (2011-07-02). "Venerating Our Lady of Piat"[permanent dead link]. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved on February 27, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Henares, Ivan (August 19, 2009). "Cagayan: Basilica of Our Lady of Piat in Piat, Cagayan" Archived February 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2012-02-27.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Caldez, Estanislao (June 15, 1999). "From Sanctuary to Minor Basilica" Archived June 30, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved on 2012-02-27.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h History of Our Lady of Piat Archived January 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Our Lady of Piat Basilica Official Website Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Vanzi, Sol Jose (1999). "Papal Church in Piat Cagayan Inaugurated in June" Archived October 11, 2022, at the Wayback Machine. Philippine Headline News Online. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  6. ^ "The Our Lady of Piat Visitation" Archived December 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Philippine Trivias. Retrieved on February 27, 2012.
  7. ^ (2010-02-05). "Lakbay Norte: The Lady of Piat" Archived January 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Lakbay Norte. Retrieved on February 27, 2012.

External links[edit]