Antipolo Cathedral

Antipolo Cathedral
Antipolo Cathedral | @rebirth.manila

Antipolo Cathedral
(International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage)

Our last church for this Simbang Gabi sa Ilog Pasig takes us east to the waters of Laguna de Bay (the source of the Pasig River) and up into the mountains of Rizal – to the city of Antipolo.

Up on these mountains stands the Antipolo Cathedral, a renowned place of pilgrimage. The first church in Antipolo was established by the Jesuits in 1591. In 1632, a new church was built to house the image of the Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buen Viaje, which was a gift from Governor General Juan Nino de Tabora. It is said that the image of the Virgin Mary vanished from the church several times, reappearing on the branches of a “tipolo” tree (Artocarpus blancoi) the site of which is the location of the present church.

Antipolo Church was damaged and destroyed by multiple calamities in its history. The church was severely damaged, together with most of Antipolo, in 1945. The present structure, designed by Jose Ocampo, was completed in 1954. The church was elevated to a cathedral in 1983 with the creation of the Diocese of Antipolo.

Antipolo Cathedral is famous for its yearly pilgrimage, done every month of May. According to Nick Joaquin, in the Spanish period, pilgrims would depart Quiapo and sail up the Pasig River all the way to Laguna de Bay where pilgrims would go ashore at Taytay. From there, the pilgrims would trek up the mountains until they reached the shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.

The image is known as the “Patroness of Galleons”, having made several safe Trans-Pacific voyages during the time of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade.

“El Pueblo de Antipolo, Provincia de Tondo” by Lorenzo Bukas, from Hisoria Manila page

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