“A cathedral is a diocesan headquarters, it is the bishop’s church. A shrine, on the other hand, is a reference to a pastoral and devotional for the believers of a given region. The sanctuary rises from popular devotion, from the people’s desire of the region who find there a reference for the practice of faith,” he said.
The title of Basilica is a pontifical acknowledgement that comes from the Pope himself due to the devotion that is present among a certain church. The Basilica of the Divine Eternal Father is in Trindade. The only one in the world to this devotion. To receive the title, some features are essential. “The title of Basilica is a acknowledgement from the Church of a Catholic temple, which is important to pastoral life and devotion of the believers,” he said.
The title of Basilica is granted by the Pope as a way of recognizing a holy temple of great spiritual and historical importance, which promotes evangelization and spreads a special devotion. In this case, in Goiás, to the Divine Eternal Father. “A basilica becomes a reference of liturgical zeal for an entire church and region. In our case, because of the size of the church, it is of national importance”, emphasized the Redemptorist Missionary.
Considered a Minor Basilica, the Sanctuary of Trindade differs from larger basilicas which have an istorical background that comes from the origins of Christianity and receives large pilgrimages. “The Catholic Church has four major basilicas. They are all located in Rome: St. Peter’s Basilica, where the Vatican is; the Basilica of St. John Lateran which is the cathedral of the Pope; the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, which is the first Church dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus; and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls: the Basilica where the tomb of the apostle Paul is located. They are the pillars of our devotion and the history of the church itself. All other Basilicas worldwide receive the title of Minor Basilica, given its pastoral and liturgical relevance, and it is always a title delivered straight from the Pope, requested by the local bishop and the God’s people,” explained Br. Diego.
The New Father’s House that is being built in Trindade to welcome the pilgrims arriving from all around the country must go through a process to receive a special title, so it is not a basilica yet. “Certainly the local archbishop will ask the Holy See to grant this title to the new sanctuary at the moment of the consecration of the church due to its importance to the devotion to the Divine Eternal Father and its architectural and liturgical richness for the Church of our region,” said Redemptorist Missionary.
The New Shrine must be the second largest Basilica in the country and will have a considerable meaning for the devotees. “We have to show that people are indeed welcomed and that the believers themselves are engaged in welcoming other believers in that church,” he concluded.