History and Beauty: Why Manaoag Church is Famous?

8 May 2022
Why Manaoag Church is Famous

The Province of Pangasinan's Our Lady of Manaoag Church is perhaps Luzon's most famous pilgrimage site and also a popular destination to visit by religious devotees.


You might be wondering what makes it different and unique from other churches and basilicas in the Philippines as well as what makes it so famous. In order for us to understand it better, it is good to start first by tracing back the history of the Manaoag church as well as the Blessed Virgin Mary.


The History of Manaoag Shrine

According to recorded history, the Augustinians came to Pangasinan in 1575 and established the missions of Lingayen, Bagnotan (which is now called Dagupan), and Santa Monica (now called Manaoag) as part of their evangelization efforts.


Because the Pangasinenses prefer to believe in paganism, the missionaries decided to leave. But this was just the start of the evangelization of the missionaries in the province. In fact, there were also undocumented missionaries serving in Pangasinan.


In addition, the Franciscans made an effort to spread the gospel across the region. However, their efforts were in vain, since they were unable to convert the residents of Pangasinan. The Dominican Missionaries built a mission at Binalatongan (now called San Carlos) in 1587, under the patronage of its founder, Saint Dominic De Guzman.


The town of Mangaldan, which is nine (9) kilometers from Santa Monica, was a "visita" for the Augustinian monastery of Lingayen. It is also the place where the Dominicans began their missionary work.


Given that Lingayen was 30 kilometers from the Augustinian convent of Santa Monica, the Augustinians were happy to give up its care to Bishop Diego de Soria, OP, who gave it to Fr. Juan de San Jacinto, OP, Vicar of Mangaldan. As a result, Fr. de San Jacinto had the idea of creating a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary when he accepted this post in 1605.


The apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Manaoag got its name from a story about an appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a farmer on a treetop, according to local lore.


The story goes that the Virgin of the Most Holy Rosary and her most pious Son, the Child Jesus, arrived in the middle of a cloud. She stated her desire for a shrine to be built in her honor in the same location so that her followers might travel there in the future and ask for her maternal protection.


This apparition of the Virgin of the Rosary became famous in other parts of the globe. People from all over the world would go to the spot where the apparition occurred to see it for themselves.


In other words, when asked who had been there, they would say "diad Lugar ya Caoalaan Na Birhen ya man tataoag" or "did Apo ya mantataoag." And as time passed by, Manaoag was the name given to this town.


Since then, the church has had a steady stream of pilgrims seeking the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in their time of need.


At a ceremony in Rome on April 21, 2011, the church was granted a unique spiritual affinity to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. To date, no other shrine in the Philippines has been granted this honor. This agreement guarantees travelers the same benefits and the opportunity to get a full indulgence as if they were visiting a papal basilica in Rome.


Many of the country's top religious officials, including more than 100 archbishops and bishops as well as the leaders of the government, attended a proclamation ceremony on February 17th to mark the shrine's elevation to the rank of Minor Basilica.


The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary Manaoag and why is it famous

One of the most popular churches in the Philippines is the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag.


Located atop a hill in the Province of Pangasinan in the town of Manaoag, it offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. As a pilgrimage destination, this is the place where the enshrined image of Our Lady of the Rosary, or Apo Baket in Filipino, is worshipped and revered.


The people of Manaoag are proud of the church's lengthy history, which dates back to the arrival of the Augustinian friars in the province of Pangasinan and the founding of the Santa Monica mission.


In Pangasinan, the Manaoag Church is the most popular pilgrimage destination, with many considering it the "Catholic Mecca" of the Philippines.


People who have visited this church and prayed to Mother Mary say they've had numerous miraculous experiences, which is why it's so well-known.


The Present Site

These days, the people who oversee the Minor Basilica have never wavered in their goal or vision to reach out to the Manaoag people and God's pilgrim people, which includes the Dominican Community.


The Basilica is also kept in contact with the Church by regular masses and other religious activities in the parish. As a result of these changes, the prayer and worship space has become a better place to be. After every mass, a Blessing Prayer for the Sick is said and holy water is sprayed over religious articles. Outside the church, automobiles can also have the same blessings organized by the church officials.


To ensure a peaceful and orderly visit to the Basilica, ushers and usherettes are stationed throughout the church's interior. They also function as pilgrims' guides, particularly for those who have never been there before.


The Basilica is also responsible for the care of the church's buildings and grounds.


In the Basilica's gift stores, visitors may purchase religious memorabilia, such as prayer books and novenas, as well as candles, which they can light at the Candle Gallery in a show of faith.


You can also find a devotion space for Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag at the rear of the retablo and people can go here to be closer to Our Lady in front of her throne and beg for her intercession.


Be closer to Our Lady of the Rosary through Lumina Manaoag

Just 15 minutes away from the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Manaoag, Lumina Manaoag is situated in Brgy. Sapang, Manaoag, Pangasinan.


Apart from having proximity to the Basilica, this is also an ideal setting for your brand new home or a property investment since the public market and schools are only a short walk away from the community. Also, the Binalonan Exit of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is about 10 minutes away from the subdivison.


Discover our available home model units by visiting our property listing pages.


Ignite your Faith by getting closer to your spiritual growth and channel of Hope with Lumina Manaoag. Make your home reservations now!

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