Located at the heart of the town of Mangatarem, Pangasinan is a huge church dedicated under the patronage of Saint Raymond of Peñafort, the patron saint of canon lawyers. This church can’t go unnoticed due to its oversize dome. The Saint Raymond of Peñafort or simply Mangatarem church was first founded in 1835 under Father Joaquin Perez.
The first church was actually built in woods and the convent next to it was built in bricks. The construction took place from 1835 to 1844 but was utterly damaged by fire in 1862. The foundations of the present church was laid down by Father Manuel Alvarez del Manzano. It was continued by Father Suarez until 1875. Father Vicente Iztequi finished the church and constructed the present convent from 1875 to 1886.
The church comes with a very simple facade with minimal ornaments. It is adorned with a huge wooden door, stained glass windows and a couple of niches with the image of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Divine Mercy. The ashlars stone of this imposing edifice were hewn from the stone quarries from the mountain ranges of Malabobo, a barangay in the municipality of Mangatarem. The church was supposed to have two bell towers but the construction of the other bell tower was never completed.
The interior of the church is equally fascinating.Interestingly, the church only has a single nave with two sanctuaries on both sides. The thick ashlar-stone brick walls are supported with ionic pillars. It comes with a very spacious interior with a marvelous huge dome (still under construction though).
The intricately ornate main altar of Mangatarem church
The left sanctuary altar that enshrines the image of Saint Raymond of Peñafort
On the opposite altar facing the church’s choir loft enshrines the image of Our Lady of the most holy Rosary of Manaoag
This concludes my Pangasinan Pilgrimage series, you can also visit my previous articles here;
►The Pilgrimage Island in Alaminos
►The Alaminos Cathedral
►Saint Peter The Martyr Parish in Sual
►Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bugallon
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