Baras, One of the Oldest Churches in the Philippines

Baras Church is one of the oldest in the area, having been completed in 1686. The first church in Baras was built by the Franciscans in 1595. The town of Baras was transferred to Ibayo in 1682. It was the Jesuits who administered the parish from 1616 to 1679. The interior of the church was simply done. The altar and lecterns store artifacts unearthened beneath the church.

How to go to Baras Church

Location: San Jose St., Baras
How to get there: Take the Antipolo by-pass to reach the town proper.
Walking distance from the poblacion.
Travel time: 1 ½ hours’ drive from Mandaluyong City

Lifted from: www.philtravelcenter.com
image form:imagesphilippines.com

Saint Francis of Assisi, One of the Most Beautiful Parishes in Rizal

The Saint Francis of Assisi Parish of Cainta, Rizal boasts of serene environment and fine architecture.

But more than that, the thing that makes this parish special is the noble life of their patron saint.

Here is the sacred life story of our dearest Giovanni Franceso di Bernardone

Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis.

St. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, and he lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi.

While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life. On a pilgrimage to Rome, Francis begged with the beggars at St. Peter’s. The experience moved him to live in poverty.

Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon amassed a following. His order was endorsed by Pope Innocent III in 1210. He then founded the Order of Poor Clares, which was an enclosed order for women, as well as the Third Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance.

In 1219, he went to Egypt where crusaders were besieging Damietta, hoping to find martyrdom at the hands of the Muslims. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the order.

Once his organization was endorsed by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene.

In 1224, he received the stigmata, making him the first person to bear the wounds of Christ’s Passion. He died in 1226 while singing Psalm 141.

On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment and one of the two patrons of Italy (with Catherine of Siena), and it is customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October.

Biography lifted from: wikipedia.org

The Origin of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo City

Antipolo City is dubbed as the “Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines” (wikipedia.org) because of the annual number of pilgrims who go to the shrine to have even a touch of the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage inside the cathedral. It is also a belief to have new vehicles blessed there for the safety of the automobile and its passengers.

Here’s the origin of the Virgin of Antipolo lifted from AntipoloCity.com:

On March 25, 1626, Don Juan Niño de Tabora left the shores of Mexico aboard the galleon, El Almirante, to make its voyage to the Philippines. On this trip, Governor Tabora brought along the brown image of our Blessed Virgin Mother. For three months, the El Almirante safely braved the dangers of the stormy seas and a fire aboard the ship, arriving in the ports of Manila on July 18, 1626. Governor Tabora, realizing that the galleon’s safe and successful journey was due to the presence of the image of the Blessed Virgin on board the ship, called for the pompous celebration of the image’s arrival. Amidst pageantry and fireworks, the religious procession started from the Church of San Ignacio, the Jesuit Church in Intramuros, up to the Manila Catholic Cathedral, which became the first house of the Blessed Virgin’s image. It is said that because of the events surrounding the safe voyage of the El Almirante, the Blessed Virgin was named Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buenviaje.

When Governor Tabora died in 1632, the Blessed Image was turned over to the care of the Jesuit fathers who were then constructing a church of Antipolo. Actually, a church was to be specifically built for the Blessed Virgin in the nearby barrio of Sta. Cruz. But attempts of the Jesuit fathers to move it from the Church of Antipolo were futile because somehow, as if in protest of leaving this town, the holy image was always found on the trunk of a tree called the Tipolo which grew in the original site of the old church. Because of these manifestations, a pedestal was curved out of the trunks of the said tree, and thus the Blessed Virgin became locally known as the Virgin of Antipolo.

During the occupation of the Japanese, the Blessed Image of our Lady of Antipolo was evacuated to the mountains of Angono, then at Santolan. The five hundred people who journeyed with the Brown Virgin all felt safe through their trips along steep mountain trails. For a while, the Blessed Virgin was housed in the Ocampo residence at Quiapo, previous to its transfer to the Quiapo Church where it stayed until October 15, 1945, when it was finally transferred to its original and permanent sanctuary at the Church of Antipolo. Every year, devotees commemorate this transfer, as they join the “Alay Lakad” from Quiapo Church to the Antipolo Cathedral starting at around 8:00 PM (30th of April) until dawn of the following day (1st of May).

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