It was sunny afternoon last week, when we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes located along N.S. Amoranto ( formerly known as Retiro street) corner Kanlaon street.
National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes
We would often pass along their stretch of street on our way to Muñoz in Quezon City. Sometimes the church and shrine was our reference point when we are going to the Suki Market and Dapitan Arcade.
History and Heritage
The Lourdes Church and Convent was first established by the Franciscan Capuchin friar in 1891.
The devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes slowly but surely spread throughout the Philippines that the Capuchins were forced to build a bigger and more beautiful church which was dedicated on February 3, 1910.
The church used to be along General Luna street within Intramuros in the 19th century until it was destroyed during World War II in 1945.
As posted by the website of the Diocese of Cubao, there was an initiative to establish a parish within Retiro St. in Quezon City in 1941, spearheaded by the Capuchins to the Archbishop of Manila. A decree was issued on March 28, 1942 to establish Sta. Teresita del Niño Jesus Parish; however the church construction was delayed because of World War II. The image of Our Lady of Lourdes was kept at nearby San Agustin church and convent and were miraculously saved.
Our Lady of Lourdes statute located at the left side of the main entrance
The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes then moved from one place to another during the last chapters of the war and was enshrined for quite sometime at the Sta. Teresita Chapel in Mayon Street. Finally, on February 10, 1951, the image was brought back to Sta. Teresita Parish on Retiro St, and later the parish was renamed Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Fast forward to 1997, in celebration of the Parish’s forty-fifth anniversary, the Our Lady of Lourdes was declared a National Shrine.
timeline of the parish and devotion
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is located at Kanlaon Street corner N.S. Amoranto Ave. (formerly Retiro St.) Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City. It celebrates its feast day every February 11. There are everyday masses and special devotions are also held in the Paris.
The church’s present architecture is a modern revival of neo-romanesque.
church altar with stained glass windows and painted ceiling
old baldoza tiles were also part of the mid-century ambiance
main founders of the church , their names were etch in marble for posterity and gratitude
When the first construction of the church and convent was planned in a lot acquired through the donations made by the families represented by Don Salvador Araneta and Doña Natividad Zaragoza Tuason. On August 14, 1941, Fr. Florencio de Lezaun, superior of the Capuchins in the Philippines addressed a letter to the then Archbishop of Manila, Msgr. Michael O’Doherty, asking his consent to build a religious house with a church attached to it, in a 10,500 square meter lot acquired by the Order in Retiro Street. The compound also housed the school and office.
CBCP plaque of dedication
various saints at the side entrance of the shrine
a spiral staircase leading to the church organ
Dendrobium aphyllum locally called fairy/ dainty/ lesser sanggumay were naturalized on Christmas palm within the pocket garden located within the shrine premises.
Note: All photos are from the author
Sources and References:
Website: Diocese of Cubao
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
Except from Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine leaflet and poster
Excerpt from Shrines, Incarnating Christ Today. St. Paul Philippines, 2004.