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Bataan Shrine for Pope John Paul II
Written by Cherry   
Friday, 06 May 2011

John Paul II made two visits to the Philippines, a bastion of Catholicism in Asia, while pope. His second visit was in 1995 when the Philippines hosted the World Youth Day Catholic festival. The first shrine of John Paul II in the Catholic Philippines was inaugurated last May 2 after John Paul II's beatification in Rome and to agree with the late pope's beatification.

According to Bataan Technology Park vice president Amado Sanglay, the shrine is built in a small town of Bataan where John Paul II celebrated a holy mass for thousands of Vietnam War refugees during a visit in 1981. The shrine's construction was supported by the local Catholic community. This will mark a statue of John Paul and an imitation of the stage where John Paul celebrated mass.

In past few years, thousands of refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia stayed at the United Nations-funded processing centre after fleeing the conflict in their homelands. The site has since been changed into the Bataan Technology Park, a local company hub that also has a museum recalling the site's refugee history.

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, a senior member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said that the shrine was the first of its kind in the Philippines. [via]

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