Early last year , i was able to visit this unique shrine in Bulacan dedicated to a Korean Saint. Saint Kim Taegon Andrea or more commonly known here as Saint Andrew Kim Taegon is actually the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is the patron saint of Korea. Before embracing the priesthood and during the time where Christians in Korea are being persecuted, Andres Kim traveled and briefly stayed in Lolomboy, Bocaue, Bulacan. Taegon was arrested and sentenced to death in Korea as a traitor and in 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River.
The Parish of Sto Cristo which is located just few walks away from the shrine was actually established in 1959. As what the name suggests, the church was built under the patronage of Santo Cristo, Lolomboy’s primary patron. In 1986, the parish was declared a sister parish of a shrine also dedicated to Kim-Taegon in South Korea. In 2009, as he parish celebrated their 50th anniversary, a construction of a bigger church was initiated. The Shrine on the other hand offers a very serene atmosphere.
They believed that Saint Andrew Kim Taegon once lived here and so a shrine was made in honor of him. It was located in a place once called as the Hacienada De Lolomboy which was described by Kim Taegon in his diary as a “quiet place of prayer and conducive for retreats.” Well, I could’t agree more! The place indeed offers a very relaxing ambiance, a serene atmosphere that allows you to meditate peacefully.
The shrine is composed of edifice that are merely influence by Korean architecture. It is not a typical shrine or church that we used to see in most parts of our country. Upon entering this place, you will be welcomed by two notable buildings. The larger one is where the Sunday mass is usually being held while the smaller one features a chapel. This place, by the way, is now in the hands of the Sisters of St. Andrew, a congregation of Korean nuns.
We went there on a weekday so the crowd was not really overwhelming as we expect. The bigger building was close yet you can still access the lower corridors and terrace. There is a special mass being held in the shrine every first Saturday of each month from 6:30 to 7:30 am but I am not certain whether it is being held in the bigger building or the smaller chapel on the side. Please be mindful that the shrine is open everyday except Mondays from 10 am to 4pm. Take note as well that this is a place of meditation so kindly observe silence all the time.
We are greatly welcomed by this beautiful walkway that leads you to the smaller chapel. The place is filled with greens and colorful flowers.
The smaller chapel.
The chapel is quite small but you will notice how intricate the details are.
The walls and the ceilings are adorned with amazing paintings depicting various events from the bible as well as the life or martyrdom of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
The upper ceiling and the lavishly beautiful paintings
The image of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
Just beside the chapel is another walkway surrounded by bamboos. This path will take you to another building where a relic from Saint Andrew Kim Taegon is enshrined.
A pagoda-like shrine where the relics of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon is enshrined
Not too far from the building is another Pagoda-like edifice which seemingly served as a meditation room.
What you can find inside is this elevated Prie Dieu on the center and a tebernacle on the other side.
When the parish was declared as the sister parishof a shrine also dedicated to Kim-Taegon in South Korea in 1986, Seoul Archbishop Stephen Cardinal Kim gave a statue of Andrew Kim-Taegon to the parish which was then enshrined on the old church building.
Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
Although it is nearly completed, you can still spot areas that are still under construction including this small land extension with an underground worship area (yet still not accessible).
The larger building was close when we get there so I can only take quick peeks from the windows
One of the rooms with a huge Last Supper portrait
Just near the gate, you’ll find a two story gazebo which allows you to relax, meditate and embrace the marvelous beauty of the Santa Maria river.
Things You Should Know Before Visiting the Shrine of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
►The Shrine is open everyday (except Mondays) from 10 am in the morning to 4 pm
►There is a special morning mass in the Shrine every first Saturday of the Month (6:30 am to 7:30am)
►There is NO Entrance Fee to the Shrine (there are donation boxes in chapel)
►The quarters of the Korean nuns can be found near the Shrine
►Observe SILENCE! This is a place of meditation so pay some respect!
►I was informed that Students in uniforms are note allowed to enter (maybe unless accompanied by elders)
►Andrew Kim Taegon is the first Korean Born Catholic Priest and the Patron of Korea
►The feast day of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon is on September 20 along with other Korean Martyrs
►Take note that this is a Shrine not a Temple. Temple is place of worship while shrine is built to venerate a certain individual of greatness
How to Get to Saint Andrew Kim Taegon Shrine
►There are many ways to reach Lolomboy but if you are coming from the South, here’s what you can do. Take MRT and drop off to MRT North Avenue station or ride buses bound to North or Trinoma. From the terminal (either from SM North or Trinoma), ride a van bound to Marilao and drop off to SM Marilao.
►From SM Marilao, ride a jeep with signboard going to Bocaue or Malolos and ask the driver to drop you off to Mcdonalds Lolomboy.
►Once you get there, you can walk your way to the shrine (you will pass through the Santo Cristo Parish and an elementary school). You can ask the locals and they can guide you all the way.
► You can also ride a bus from Monumento bound to Balagtas, Bulacan and ask the driver to drop you off to 7-11 Bacaue. From there, you can ride a jeepney bound to Marilao and ask the driver to drop you off to Mcdo Lolomboy (just follow the rest of the instructions above)
►You can also take a bus bound to Malanday. Upon reaching Malanday, ride a jeep bound to Bocaue or Balagtas and ask the driver to drop you off to Mcdonalds Lolomboy. (just follow the rest of the instructions above)
Feel free to watch the video below