After the Immaculate Conception Parish in Santa Cruz, Laguna (Check: Immaculate Conception Parish/ Santa Cruz Church), we went to visit the beautiful church in Pagsanjan which is dedicated under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
I used to pass by this church every time we visit Kamay ni Hesus shrine in Lucban but we never got a chance to visit it. The church’s gate is something that cannot go unnoticed. Located at the heart of Pagsanjan is the shrine dedicated under the Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico. It is considered to be the first ever shrine in the country to be dedicated under the patronage of the said image which marks it the oldest Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine in the Philippines.
A former visita of Lumban, the parish church of Pagsanjan was founded on November 12, 1687, by Franciscan missionary Father Agustin de la Magdalena as its first parish priest. Originally, the first church was made of light materials like bamboo, nipa and wood in 1688. It was built by natives of Pagsanjan under forced labor. In 1690, a larger and more solid church was constructed. Further renovations were conducted from 1847 to 1852 under Father Joaquin de Coria, who engineered the stone belfry and Romanesque dome.
The church was heavily damaged by American and Filipino military bombers on March 15, 1945 during World War II. A replica of the church was constructed over its ruins, without the original dome. Serious restoration efforts after the war took place in 1965 under Lipa Archbishop Alejandro Olalia. On April 6, 1969, Bishop Pedro Bantigue blessed the rebuilt church and consecrated the main altar.Due to the devotion of the people of Pagsanjan and nearby towns, the Diocese of San Pablo declared Pagsanjan Church as the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2012.
Under the term of Monsignor Castillo from 2013 to the present, further renovations were carried out, including the church patio and construction of the choir loft and church gate.
Currently the church comes with a simple 3 level Renaissance styled facade. The entire facade is coated in white and it comes with very minimal details. The upper level has a single niche that features an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Pagsanjan. On the left side of the church is a three story bell tower.
The church welcomes you with an equally-stunning interior.
The main altar of the church.
Unfortunately, the original image that was enshrined in the church was destroyed during the American and Filipino military bombings of 1945. Interestingly, two new images were donated after the incident and both of them can still be found on the church.
The one enshrined in the main altar was sculpted by Maximo Vicente of Manila.
The second image was donated by Mexican Catholics in 1958 and was sculpted by Ramon Barretto of Toluca
The church comes with two side altars. The one on the left features the image of Saint Joseph on its center niche while the altar on the right enshrines the image of San Juan Nepomuceno on the center.
The image of San Juan Nepomuceno
There is also a side chapel near the altar which also serves as mini museum containing containing liturgical vestments of Pagsanjeño priests.
The side chapel houses houses an image of San Juan Diego, a replica of the tilma of the Our Lady of Guadalupe and a stone relic from Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City in 1531, the site of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The replica of the tilma of the Our Lady of Guadalupe, beside the replica are two images, the one on the right is the image of San Juan Diego and the one on the left (i assume) is the image of Juan de Zumaragga, the first bishop of Mexico.
The chapel also houses a stone relic from Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City in 1531, the site of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
At the back of the altar, you’ll find a Silver crown that was used in the episcopal coration of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Pagsanjan.
Outside the chapel, you’ll be greeted with a luscious garden.
There is even a small tunnel containing the images of the Way of the Cross
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish or the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was part of our Laguna Pilgrimage last year. After the Pagsanjan, we went to the famous church in Paete, Laguna.
If you have suggestions or corrections, feel free to leave a comment.
You can check more of my Visita Iglesia series below
►List of Churches in CAVITE for Visita Iglesia
►List of Churches in BATANGAS for Visita Iglesia
►List of Churches in LAS PIÑAS and PARAÑAQUE for Visita Iglesia
►List of Churches in ZAMBALES for Visita Iglesia
►MANILA Pilgrimage Tour
►FIVE JUBILEE CHURCHES in MANILA
►List of Retreat Centers Near MANILA
►FATIMA Churches in CAVITE
►Seven Churches in TARLAC for Visita Iglesia