Information about Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat
Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat
In the outskirts of Piat, Cagayan Province, about an hour-drive away from its capital
Tuguegarao, the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat is located.
A flock of tourists visit the basilica on a daily because it is home to the 407-year old image of
the Black Virgin Mary, known as Our Lady of Piat
The Cagayanos take pride in the rich history of the basilica and they show their deep faith and
devotion to the image of the Our Lady of Piat.
In 1604 the Dominican Friars from Macau brought to the Philippines the image of a black Virgin
Mary carrying the Infant Jesus.
When the Dominicans started their mission to spread Christianity in the region, the locals
showed some resistance. So they introduced to them the devotion to the Virgin Mary.
The image of the Virgin Mary was first brought to La-lo, Cagayan, which was the Episcopal See
of Nuestra Segovia at that time. Afterwards, the image was brought to Piat and then
When it was brought to Tuguegarao, the original image was replaced in Piat by a more beautiful
one from Manila. But the people of Piat have grown a deep attachment to the image and didn’t
like the replacement. They demanded for the original image to be brought back to their town.
Because of the people’s uprising the original image of the black Virgin Mary was brought back
to Piat and was enthroned in a small sanctuary.
A more spacious church of better materials was constructed on the hill and a better sanctuary
of the Virgin Mary was built in 1700. The sanctuary was restored and completed in 1875.
On June 22, 1999, the church was elevated as a basílica minore (minor basilica) by the Vatican
through rites officiated by the Vatican’s representative, Antonio María Cardinal Javierre Ortas.
Our Lady of Piat was the first basílica minore in the region and is the fourth among the twelve
basilicas of the Catholic Church in the Philippines.
The Basilica Minore of our lady of Piat has a Romanesque architecture, inspired by the 11 th and
12th century design, which has simplified arches and windows. It is mainly made of red bricks
with beautiful verandahs inside.
The Basilica has an entrance arch located at the back. One has to enter the arch and go around
to see the façade of the church. On the left side of the façade, a tall belfry is located.
The interiors of the church have a curved ceiling made of wood. Beautiful historical images can
be seen at the top of the walls.
The image of the Blessed Virgin is enshrined at the altar in a covered glass case. Devotees who
want to touch the dress of the image may pass through a staircase at the back of the church
that leads to a window behind the glass case.
Within the premise of the Basilica is the Piat Basilica Museum that showcases religious artifacts
related to Our Lady of Piat.
There is a tourist center or a gift shop where tourists can purchase different souvenir items.
There is also a designated blessing site where religious relics and vehicles can be blessed by a
Many devotees visit the Basilica because the Our Lady of Piat is known for its numerous miracle
intercessions since its arrival in the country.
Some of the miracles attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Piat include the miraculous
recovery from a serious illness of Doña Ines Maquilabbun, the first appointed caretaker of the
Another miracle was the end of a drought that affected the Itawes who depended on their
There was a boat from Pamplona to Aparri that was in great danger but was saved miraculously
through the intercession of Our Lady of Piat.
There was a child who was cured of leprosy, and a boy who recovered from insanity.
These are just some of the miracles attributed to the Virgin. The continuous pilgrimage to the
shrine of the Our Lady of Piat is a strong testament of the faith of the Filipinos.