Holy Mary of Guadalupe: Patroness of the Philippine Islands as Declared by Pope Pius XI on 16 July 1935

Pius P.P. XI

In Perpetual Remembrance

Our Predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs, have all the times unceasingly sought with untiring zeal to arouse and foster the devotion of the faithful to the Most Blessed Mother of Our Redeemer Jesus Christ.  Wherefore we also with much joy of soul have seen extraordinary evidence of great love for the Virgin Mother of God among the people of the dioceses of the Philippine Islands in letters of petitioners which the Archbishop of Manila and the Philippines, and also our Apostolic Delegate have now jointly presented to us in the name of their clergy and faithful.

From these letters we have definitely learned that the people of these Islands earnestly wish that we should consider it proper to proclaim the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to be the heavely loving Mother of the human race and since she is held in great honor and veneration under same title in the region of New Spain, now Central America, from which missionary institutions went froth to the Philippine Islands bringing with them the laws and customs of Christian civilization.

Since therefore the faithful of these Islands who would especially honor Holy Mary and confidently implore the intercession under the tittle of Guadalupe, together with their Pastors, have herein mentioned, confidently promising the most efficacious help and protection of the Virgin Mother of God, and after having consulted the Prefect of Congregation of Sacred Rites, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and having fulfilled all that is customary, with diligent care, we degree as follows:

Forsooth with our certain knowledge and mature delibreration, and from a plenitude of Our Apostolic Authority, according to the puport of these letters and in perpetual manner, we define and declare the the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, under the aforesaid title of GUADALUPE is before God THE HEAVENLY PATRONESS OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.  Wherefore we command that all the Liturgical Rights and privileges which are proper to such a Patronage shall be bestowed upon Her Heavenly Patronage.

These things we define and promulgate and we decree that these LETTERS SHALL FORTHWITH STAND IRREVOCABLE, VALID AND EFFECTIVE, and shall remain their full and complete effects; and they shall benefit with all of the Islands both now and forever; and IF ANYTHING CONTRARY TO THESE THINGS SHOULD HAPPEN TO BE ATTEMPTED BY ANYBODY EITHER KNOWINGLY OR UNKNOWINGLY NO MATTER BY WHAT AUTHROITY it must be judged and dealt with accordingly, AND IT SHALL BECOME NULL AND VOID FROM THIS MOMENT.  Everything to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given at Saint Peter’s at Rome, under the Seal of the Fisherman, on the sixteenth day of July in the Year Nineteen Hundred and Thirty Five.

(Signed) E. Cardinal Pacelli

a Secretis Status



  1. This decree was copied from the insert page of the Novena pamphlet for the Holy Mary of Guadalupe published by the Lay Monastic Community of Caryana, S of G Foundation, Inc.,  P. O. Box 1759, MCPO, Makati, Metro Manila, 1257.
  2. A full length picture of Our Lady of Gudalupe is in Wiki Pilipinas.  Beautiful portraits are also provided by cathom.blogspot.com here and by Properly Scared here.  Note that Our Lady’s mantle appears bluish when we go nearer to the image (Cathom) and greenish when we move farther away (Properly Scared).  This is an optical phenomenon since no paint is used in Our Lady’s mantle.  A possible physical explanation is diffraction grating effect, as when we see rainbow colors in a compact disc due to its closely spaced grooves.  Another possible explanation is the mantle forms holographic pattern, similar to those of modern brand seals that changes color depending on your point of view.
  3. You may read my related post, “How Our Lady of Gudalupe snatched me from New Age.”