The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat is home to the Black Virgin Mary. In 1954, the Lady of Piat was canonically inaugurated queen, mother, and patroness of Cagayan Valley. It is considered one of the world’s most worshipped and miraculous Marian characters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The church is located in Piat, in the province of Cagayan.
There’s a small, two-story museum right beside the church that houses several artifacts related to the church history of the Basilica and Our Lady of Piat. Some of them are old textbooks, adorned robes, and different replica images in various shapes and sizes.
The miraculous image of Our Lady of Piat was sculpted in Macao, a colony of Portugal during the time. In 1604, the Dominican Fathers brought the image to the Philippines in Lallo, which was then the Episcopal See of Nueva Segovia. Eventually, the image was transferred to Piat, and not long after, the people felt extraordinary manifestations of divine favors through the Black Virgin Mary. Soon, the image garnered devotees.
In 1622, Father Juan de Santa Ana sent the image to Tuguegarao and requested “more beautiful” version from Manila as a replacement. However, the move ignited public protest, and the people demanded Our Lady of Piat be returned. Fr. Santa Ana obliged.
The sanctuary was built between Piat and Tuao as a compromise to a dispute. The construction ended in 1623. In 1999, the sanctuary was converted as a minor basilica by the Vatican. It was the first basílica minore in the region and the fourth in the country.
The image of Our Lady of Piat is life-size, and it is said that its natural charm and appeal will move first-time visitors .
In 1624, the Itawes region suffered a prolonged drought. The Parish Priest advised the people to make peace with God by making a novena to the Blessed Mother. They went to confess and receive Holy Communion and performed the Novena to Our Lady of Piat. In the middle of the Novena, severe rain fell, and the farmers’ crops were saved.
The miraculous image is reported to have cured serious illnesses after praying for healing and performing Novena(s) in Our Lady of Piat.