Augustinian-Built Churches in Metro Manila and her Patron Saints

Most of the cities in today’s Metro Manila were part of the province of Tondo during the Spanish colonial period and most of the churches in these cities were founded by none other than the pioneering Christian missionaries in the country: the Augustinian Friars.

Aside from San Agustin Church, Monasterio de Guadalupe and the friary in Mandaluyong, the Augustinians also built the churches of Tondo, Malate, Pasig, taguig, Pateros, Parañaque, Navotas and Pasay.[1]

According to Fr. Lucio P. Gutiérrez, OP, the friars who came to the Philippines during the 1st one hundred years of evangelization were men of high learning and of proven virtue. They were, above all, zealous and apostolic men, a product of a reformed Spanish Church well before the appearance of Protestantism in Europe. [2] These apostolic and zealous friars were the ones who founded these magnificent churches that until now are still being used as places of worship by millions of Catholics in Metro Manila.

  1. Tondo – Santo Niño Church

Sto. Niño de Tondo ChurchFrom the very beginning, the firars placed Tondo under the patronage of the Holy Child or the Santo Niño, whose devotion remains to be one of the most popular and extensive in the country today.

  1. Malate – Nuestra Señora de los Remedios Church

Malate ChurchMalate used to house a miraculous image of Nuestra Señora de los Remedio (Our Lady of Remedies), the patroness of mothers. The devotion to the Virgin made Malate very famous and people flocked to the church especially on Saturdays. Today, the parish of Malate is being administered by Columban Missionaries.

  1. Pasig – Immaculate Concepcion Church

Immaculate Concepcion Church PasigPasig’s church aside from being the oldest Marian parish in the country went from being an iglesia parroquial in 1573 to a cathedral in 2003. Pasig’s patroness is the Immaculate Concepcion. The whole territory of the Diocese of Pasig used to be Augustinian mission areas and the 3 oldest churchs (Pasig, Taguig and Pateros) in the diocese were all Augustinian built.

  1. Taguig – Santa Ana Church

Santa Ana, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the patroness of Taguig. The city’s populase still celebrates with much grandeur the fiesta of their patrona every July 26 with a solemn novena and a fluvial parade along the Taguig River.

  1. Pateros – San Roque Church

Pateros is famous for its duck raisers hence the town’s name. San Roque was named patron but the local Catholic faithful also highly venerates Santa Maria de Betania because of a legend that the saint saved their ducks and fowls from a monstrous crocodile that plagued their livelihood.

  1. Parañaque – San Andres Apostol Church

San Andres Apostol is the city’s patron saint but every August 10, devotes from the south of Manila flock to this church to celebrate the fiesta of Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso (Our Lady of the Good Event). Like Pasig, Parañaque too is now the seat of the diocese with the same name.

  1. Malabon – San Bartolome Church and Navotas – San Jose Church
Navotas Church

Malabon ChurchMalabon and Navotas are famous for their fish ports. Malabon’s patron is San Jose while Navotas recently celebrated its 400th foundation Anniversary as a parish. Both churches are now part of the Diocese of Kalookan.

  1. Pasay – San Clara de Asis Church

Pasay ChurchPasay was one of the last parishes founded by the Augustinians. Santa Clara de Montefalco, the namesake of the more popular Santa Clara de Asis and the first canonized Augustinian nun is the city’s patroness.

Today, as the Augustinian friars celebrate the 450th anniversary of their presence in the Philippines, only two (2) of these churches are under their care: San Agustin Church (Immaculate Conception Parish) and the parish of Nuestra Señora de Gracia in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City. The rest were either ceded to the diocesan clergy or given to other religious congregations.

[1] Pedro G. Galende, OSA, Angels in Stone, (Manila: G.A. Formoso Puiblishing, 1987), 17.

[2] Lucio P. Gutiérrez, OP, Archdiocese of Manila: A Pilgrimage in Time. Volume I. (Manila: The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, 2000), 17.

 

Written by Fr. John Paul Mabanta, OSA, in Monasterium 2015, Official Publication of Monasterio de GUadalupe, Makati City.

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