The National Shrine of Saint Anthony Of Padua in Pila Laguna

Located in the historic town of Pila, Laguna is the four-century old church dedicated under the patronage of Saint Anthony of Padua. Interestingly, this is the first Antonine church in the Philippines and in Asia. Just last year, the church was elevated to a national shrine which makes it the 25th shrine in the country.
DSCF5216tPila Church or now, the National Shrine of Saint Anthony of Padua has a very huge historical significance. In fact, both the church and the plaza in front of it (as well as the ancestral houses surrounding it) were declared as National Historical Landmark in year 2000. The church was elevated to a Diocesan Shrine of San Antonio de Padua in 2002.
The first missionaries in Pila were Augustinians who administered their missions from Bay, Laguna. The Franciscans then started to evangelize the townsmen of Pila in 1578. They started to established “Villa de Pila” and soon built a church out of cane, dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, marking it to be the first ever church to be dedicated under the patronage of San Antonio de Padua.

DSCF5243t
From the structure made out of cane, they soon build a stone church. Both the stone church and a rectory were completed in 1617. The Franciscans established the second printing press in the Philippines in 1606. Interestingly, the first Tagalog dictionary Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala by local pastor Fray Pedro de San Buenaventura was printed here in 1613 by Tomás Pinpín and Domingo Loag.
DSCF5272ttt
The church comes with a beautiful facade. It has a three-level facade with classical Doric columns. At the pediment is a niche reserved for St. Anthony. The second level has three stained-glass windows with images depicting the bible, the Risen Christ and the Blessed Sacrament respectively. The niches on the lower level, on the other hand, features the statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the left side of the church is a three-level brick square-based octagonal bell tower.
DSCF5239t
Outside the church, you’ll find these old bells. The oldest surviving church bell of Pila was cast on the centenary of the parish in 1681 with the Franciscan emblem and the inscription “San Antonio de Pila.” It survived British invaders in 1762 when the people of Pila submerged it in Laguna de Bay facing the church. It is now the third-oldest church bell in the Philippines.
DSCF5236tt
The interior of the church is equally mesmerizing.
DSCF5237
DSCF5223t
The main altar of Pila Church. The upper niche enshrines the image of Immaculate Conception. The center niche features the image of Saint Anthony above the tabernacle. The two side niches has the image of Saint Roch and Saint Joseph respectively.
DSCF5225tBlack Nazarene
DSCF5227tSaint Anthony of Padua
DSCF5229t
There’s also a wooden pulpit on the right side of the church
DSCF5303tt
When we went there last year, we were lucky enough to witness a first class relic of Saint Anthony.
DSCF5266t
Liceo de Pila, a former convent located adjacent to the church which is now being used as a school building
DSCF5247t
The bell tower of Pila Church
DSCF5260tt
DSCF5261t

Pila Church was part of our Laguna Pilgrimage last year. After Pila, we went to Santa Cruz to visit the Immaculate Conception Parish.

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

Also check my other Pilgrimage Series
►Pilgrimage to Tarlac
►Pilgrimage in Bataan
►Pilgrimage in Cavite
►Pilgrimage in Zambales
►Pilgrimage In Manila
►Pilgrimage in Batangas
►Pilgrimage in Laguna

One thought on “The National Shrine of Saint Anthony Of Padua in Pila Laguna

  • September 12, 2021 at 3:41 am
    Permalink

    May I humbly request kind devotees of St. Anthony de Padua in Pila, Laguna to please help me in my inquiry. I am from down south of Mindanao. I am planning to spend a pilgrim trip to Shrine of Señor San Antonio de Padua this December, 2021 to about February, 2022. To save on expenses, I’d like to rent a one bedroom semi furnished apartment to stay, closest distance safe to walk to the church of St. Anthony and back everyday. Kindly respond to my querry, I appreciate the kind gesture … Ed T. B.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *