Trivia about the Our Lady of Piat
In a Basilica Minore atop a hill overlooking the Chico River, the image of our Blessed Mother is specially venerated under the title “Our Lady of the Holy Rosary”. In 1604, the sons of St. Dominic brought the revered image from Macau, China to the ancient city of Lallo-c, Cagayan, which was then the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia. When the intrepid missionaries started evangelizing the Itawes Region of the Province of Cagayan, they brought with them their “secret weapon” and declared the region under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in effect asking the Lady also known as Our Lady of Visitation of Piat, to assist them in bringing the good news to the “wild and difficult” natives. In 1628, due to the growing devotion to her, a separate church was built in her honor at the present site. On June 20, 1954, on the occasion of the first Marian year in the Philippines, she was crowned Queen of Cagayan Valley.
The Holy Father has paid tribute to the maturing faith of the people of Cagayan and their respective filial devotion to Mary by conceding to the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat, the title of Basilica Minore or Minor Basilica. On June 20, 1999, the Basilica was inaugurated in solemn ceremonies led by the Papal legate Antonio Cardinal Javierre Ortas and Archbishop Antonio Franco, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines. This year, 2004, the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao led by Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan, D.D. is celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Her arrival and the golden jubilee of Her coronation.