Saint James The Greater Church
The last batch of our Visita Iglesia will be coming from the island of Mindanao. The sixth church of our Visita Iglesia is the St. James the Greater Church located in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte.
“St. James the Greater Church symbolizes the early Christianization of Dapitan built in the honor of St James the Great in 1871. The old Spanish masonry and architecture are still evident even if a century has passed since its construction. St. James Parish Church is the second church.
The first church was constructed between the years 1631-1767. Except only for the finishing, the exterior walls which are more than a meter thick and their design are original. The altars and interiors had been renovated several times because of deterioration over time.
There is a historical spot where Rizal stood while hearing mass on Sundays during his exile in Dapitan from July 17, 1892, to July 31, 1896. The Jesuits missionaries stayed in Dapitan for about 221 years (1629/1631-1767) and (1864-late 1940’s) while the Recollect priests stayed in Dapitan for about 96 years (1768-1864). In 1944, Japanese soldiers used this church as a resting/sleeping area for about five days.
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