|Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
|Location||Malolos City, Bulacan,|
|Former name(s)||Malolos Church and Convent|
|Founder(s)||Rev. Mateo Mendoza OSA|
|Past bishop(s)||Most Rev.Rolando J.Tria Tirona OCD.D.D|
|Status||Basilica Minore (Minor Basilica)|
|Heritage designation||Palacio Presidential|
|Architect(s)||Rev. Roque Barrionuevo OSA|
|Completed||1752-1753 (1st church)
1818-1819 (2nd church)
|Number of domes||1|
|Diocese||Roman Catholic Diocese of Malolos|
|Province||Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila|
|Archbishop||His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle D.D|
|Bishop(s)||Most Rev. Jose Francisco Oliveros D.D|
|Rector||Msgr.Pablo S.Legaspi Jr.|
Malolos Cathedral, also known as the Basilica Minore de la Nuestra Señora de Inmaculada Concepcion (in Spanish) or Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception (in English), is the ecclesiastical seat of the Diocese of Malolos in the Philippines. Note: Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception or the Manila Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Manila.
- 1 Beginnings
- 2 As palacio presidential
- 3 Contemporary times
- 4 Parish priests 1580-1961
- 5 Diocese of Malolos Era
- 6 Style and design
- 7 The image of the Immaculate Conception at the Altar Retablo
- 8 The Miraculous Image of Our Lady
- 9 The Canonical Coronation and the 50th Golden Jubilee
- 10 The Kalayaan Tree
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The Spaniards and Augustinians arrived in Malolos in November 14, 1571 they built a small chapel near Canalate River, a bigger church was built which was recognized as a parish church in the records of the Augustinian chapter of June 11, 1580. Malolos Convent have its jurisdiction to the Clerical and Christianization Mission in Binto (became Encomienda in 1590 and Quingua Town in 1602). Due to the frequent submerging of its first location, they moved the church to another location facing Malolos River in 1591 (the present location of the church). Augustinians placed under the mantle of the Immaculate Conception. Malolos Church was initially parish of Encomienda de Malolos made as the town parish in 1580. Initially built from light materials in 1580-1591, later the church and convent were enlarged by Fr. Roque Barrionuevo in 1691. In 1734, the church was built with stronger materials by Fr. Fernando Sanchez. Fr. Juan Meseguer finished this project in 1740 and Fr. Jose de Vivar applied the finishing touches in 1753. However, both the church and the convent were destroyed by fire in 1813. The construction of the present church begun in 1819 with Fr. Melchor Fernandez. This prolific builder was also responsible for the addition of arches to the convent; the fortification of the belfry (to accommodate the installation of a clock); and the construction of the bridge connecting Malolos with Barasoain. However, the buildings were destroyed by a strong earthquake in 1863. Fr. Ezekiel Merino undertook the reconstruction of the collapsed structures which lasted until 1872.
Another severe earthquake took place in 1880 which destroyed the convent. Fr. Juan Tombo began the restoration of the convent in 1883. It was completed in 1884 by Fr. Felipe Garcia.
As palacio presidential
Malolos Cathedral served as the presidential palace of Emilio Aguinaldo during the First Philippine Republic from September 15, 1898 to March 31, 1899. Aguinaldo used the convent of the church as his office. During the Philippine–American War, the US Army decided to strategize their "Northern Campaign". US soldiers moved forward to Malolos in order to defeat Filipino forces in Malolos. Aguinaldo and his men decided to escape before the American Army arrived in the capital.
From the ashes of war, the church was rebuilt from 1902 to 1936. Under Msgr. Pedro Abad, the baptistery was built and blessed by the late Rufino Cardinal Santos on 28 February 1954. The pews were acquired in 1957 by Msgr. Marcelino Montemayor and the roof was replaced during the time of Msgr. Francisco Domingo. The Malolos church became a cathedral with the installation of first diocesan bishop, Most Reverend Manuel del Rosario D.D., in March 1962. With the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, Msgr. Virgilio Soriano commissioned a new altar in 1967. Mrs. Amparo Bautista-Julian donated a statue of the Immaculate Conception which was placed on top of the bell tower. When the cathedral was consecrated by Bishop Cirilo Almario, Jr. DD on December 4, 1976, the communion rail was dismantled and the sanctuary was renovated with stained glass windows. The old convent was reconstructed and expanded to accommodate the bishop's residence, chancery office and parish convent. During the incumbency of Msgr. Macario Manahan, the St. Joseph Social Hall was built; the old baptistery was transformed into a mortuary chapel; and a crypt was constructed below the main altar. When Rolando Tria-Tirona O.C.D., DD became bishop and moderator of the Team Ministry, renovations and repairs were undertaken like the Diocesan Hall being refurbished into the Mary Magdalene Hall. It was under the tenure of Bishop Tirona that the cathedral was elevated into the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on December 4, 1999. The present bishop, Jose Oliveros DD continues to make improvements especially with the church patio and its environs. The statues under the Kalayaan tree, the memorial cross fronting the Basilica and the Presidential Gale constituted different phases which are connected with the Patio Development Plan.
Parish priests 1580-1961
From 1580 up to the present time, Malolos Cathedral has a long list of parish priests who administered the church. The list includes priests from the Augustinian Friars and Archdiocese of Manila.
Due to the antiquity of Malolos Church, the list of parish priests from 1580 to 1680 came from other sources such as catalog of Augustinian Province archive.
Source: Catalogo Bio-bibliografico Religiosos Agustinos de la Provincia de Santisimo Nombre de Jesus de las Isla Filipinas des de su Fundacion Hasta Nuestros Diaz Author: Fr.Elvino Perez,Manila Establicimente Tipografico,Colegio de Santo Tomas 1901
|Parish Priest||Year assigned|
|Fray Mateo Mendoza OSA||1580-1584|
|Fray Diego Muñoz OSA||1584-1585|
|Fray Pedro Tristan OSA||1585-1590|
|Fray Cristobal Tarique OSA||1590-1591|
|Fray Francisco Bustos OSA||1591-1600|
|Fray Andres Ibarra OSA||1600|
|Fray Roque de Barrionuevo OSA||1600-1605|
|Fray Juan de Valderama OSA||1605-1609|
|Fray Francisco de Castramonte OSA||1609-1611|
|Fray Antonio Marquez de Figueroa OSA||1611-1614|
|Fray Fernando de Santa Maria Trujillo OSA||1614-1618|
|Fray Pedro de Salcedo OSA||1618-1623|
|Fray Diego Robles OSA||1623-1626|
|Fray Mateo de Braceros OSA||1626-1635|
|Fray Agustin Carreno OSA||1635-1636|
|Fray Juan de Trezo OSA||1636-1639|
|Fray Andres Jimenez OSA||1639-1641|
|Fray Sandro Moncada OSA||1641-1650|
|Fray Cristobal Enriquez OSA||1641-1653|
|Fray Lorenzo Figueroa OSA||1653|
|Fray Jeronimo Ramos OSA||1653-1656|
|Fray Jose de Mendoza OSA||1657-1659|
|Fray Diego Arellano OSA||1659-1662|
|Fray Jeronimo de Leon OSA||1662-1665|
|Fray Diego Gutierrez de la Fuente OSA||1665-1669|
|Fray Francisco Martinez OSA||1669-1671|
|Fray Jaime Balzac OSA||1671-1674|
|Fray Ildefonzo Tellez OSA||1674|
|Fray Diego Alday OSA||1675|
|Fray Jaime Balzac OSA||1677-1680|
|Fray Juan de San Nicolas OSA||1680|
The list below is from the Malolos Cathedral Archive. Note that the Malolos Church was burned in 1899, and records are incomplete. Malolos Cathedral recorded the list of priests only from 1673.
|Parish Priest||Year assigned|
|Fray Francisco Lopez OSA||1673-1734|
|Fr. Yniguez OSA||1734-1736|
|Fray Manuel Cortezar OSA||1740-1741|
|Fray Josef de Viaz OSA||1742-1743|
|Fray Manuel Sacus de Nicolas OSA||1744|
|Fray Josef de Victoria OSA||1745|
|Fray Bernardo de San Guillermo OSA||1746|
|Fray Jose de Leon OSA||1749|
|Fray Manuel Cortezar OSA||1750-1752|
|Fray Josef de Viaz OSA||1753-1755|
|Fray Jose Montero OSA||1756|
|Fray Domingo Deovides OSA||1757|
|Fray Gregorio Gener OSA||1758|
|Fray Biaz Aguirre OSA||1759|
|Fray Jose Mediavilla OSA||1760|
|Fray Antonio Miranda OSA||1760-1768|
|Fray Manuel Ortega OSA||1768|
|Fray Pedro Cordojuela OSA||1769-1770|
|Fray Diego Perez OSA||1770|
|Fray Matiaz Nubia OSA||1771|
|Fray Antonio de San Prospero OSA||1772-1774|
|Fray Carlos Manrivero OSA||1774|
|Fray Joaquin Maturana OSA||1775-1801|
|Fray Benito Santillan OSA||1801-1800|
|Fray Juan Crespo OSA||1801-1802|
|Fray Andres Vigil OSA||1802|
|Fray Dionisio Santa Maria OSA||1803-1815|
|Fray Cayetano Lopez OSA||1815|
|Fray Melchor Fernandez OSA (the urban planner of old Malolos he built the Malolos Bridge and the present building of Malolos Church)||1816-1840|
|Fray Francisco Miro OSA||1840-1858|
|Fray Feliciano Concepcion OSA||1858|
|Fray Juan Tombo OSA||1859-1885|
|Fray Rafael Canlapan OSA (Canlapan Street in Malolos named after him)||1886|
|Fray Felipe Garcia OSA (opponent of the famous women of Malolos)||1887-1889|
|Fray Agustin Fernandez OSA||1890-1895|
|Fray Moises Santos OSA||1895-1898-|
|Fray Juan de la Rosa (the last Spanish Augustianian curate of Malolos expelled by the Filipino revolutionaries||1898)|
|Fr. Gregorio Crisostomo||1899-1900 (the first Filipino parish priest of Malolos Church)|
|Fr. Osmundo Lim (assigned to Barasoain)||1900|
|Fr.Alejandro Carlos (start of American Occupation)||1900|
|Fr. Magdaleno Castillo (started the rebuilding of the Malolos Church)||1901-1911|
|Msgr. Jose N.Jovellanos||1911-1917|
|Fr. Maximo Ma.Jovellanos||1919-1922|
|Fr. Bartolome Zabala||1922|
|Msgr. Vicente Fernandez||1922-1937|
|Fr. Nicanor De Guzman||1937|
|Fr. Simeon Guttierez||1937|
|Fr. Enrique Reyes||1937-1946|
|Msgr. Francisco V.Domingo||1955-1961-|
Diocese of Malolos Era
Malolos Parish Church, became the cathedral church of Diocese of Malolos in 1961. The pope designates the prelates who occupy the episcopal throne of the See of Malolos.
|Most Rev.Manuel P Del Rosario D.D||1961-1977||First Resident Bishop||from Samar, Emeritus Bishop of Malolos now lying in rest at Malolos Cathedral's crypt.|
|Most Rev.Leopoldo Arcaira D.D||1966-1988||Auxiliary Bishop of Malolos|
|Most Rev.Ricardo J.Vidal D.D||1971-1973||Coadjutor Bishop of Malolos||now Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu|
|Most Rev.Leoncio Lat D.D||1980-1985||Coadjutor Bishop of Malolos|
|Most Rev. Cirilo Almario Jr. D.D||1977-1996||Second Resident Bishop of Malolos||from Cavite,now Emeritus Bishop of Malolos|
|Most Rev. Deogracias Iñiguez D.D||1985-1989||Auxiliary Bishop of Malolos||Meycauayan, the first Bulakenyo priest became bishop of Malolos as its Auxiliary.|
|Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona OCD D.D.||1996-2003||Third Resident Bishop of Malolos||from Cavite, now Archbishop of Caceres,in his term Malolos Cathedral became Minor Basilica in 1999|
|Most Rev. Jose F. Oliveros D.D||2003-Present||Fourth Resident Bishop of Malolos||from Gumaca, Quezon. In his term Dioces of Malolos celebrated its 50th Golden Jubillee and Immaculada Concepcion de Malolos was Canonically Crowned|
Style and design
The predominant feature of the Cathedral-Basilica is the semi-circular arch in its lower part. The ornamentation is moderate; the massing is well balanced and the symmetrical movement of the columns and openings are almost neoclassic. The facade is divided by single and coupled Doric columns in three segments, and is dominated by large semi-circular arches of the openings in the first level, and the smaller ones superimposed on the second level which are alternately semicircular and segmented. The triangular pediment strongly outlined by heavily projecting broken cornices is topped by a sort of acroteria in the center and torch-like finials. A statued niche flanked by fluted pilasters topped by a segmented canopy crowns the silted frame of the center window. Triglypha decorate the frieze and a stylized Augustinian emblem decorates the center of pediment. The over-all impression is one of the neatness of line, counterbalanced by the dramatic circular of the openings.
During old times, the Malolos Cathedral's bell tower was a topped with a triangular cone, it may be seen on the photos exist mostly on war times in 1898-1899. In 1970, during the major renovation of the Cathedral, the triangular cone at the top of the bell tower was removed and replaced by a concrete statue of the Immaculate Conception, donated by Amparo Bautista. The said statue still exists as of the present time.
Previously, the cathedral only had one door at the center. It was made into three doors in the 1950s
The image of the Immaculate Conception at the Altar Retablo
According to reliable information, the statue of the Immaculate Concepcion was made before the Second World War. The opus is attributed to Donding Ople, a gifted artist who was orphaned at a very tender age. The original work is kept in an undisclosed place but the statue at the high enclosure behind the main altar is the perfect replication of the original. Many of the devotees flock to the image of the Immaculate Concepcion.
The Miraculous Image of Our Lady
The Miraculous image of Our Lady enshrined in the main altar was carved by a certain Donding Ople in 1950. Due to the miraculous attributes in devotion to the Immaculate Conception. The Malolos Curia decided to produce some replicas. An elite replica of the said statue was first displayed at the right of the Sanctuary, at the middle, beside the statues of Saint Joachim at Saint Peter patriarch.
The devotion to Immaculate Conception seems to be very effective and was then reported to miraculous, so to enrich the faith of the Malolenos, a set of stairs was attached to the altar, that the people may go and touch the statue. This action was made under the time of service of the then rector, Msgr. Jojo Galvez and Fathers Ron Cristobal and Francis Protacio S. Cortez III as members. On this time also, the statue was officially named "Virgen Inmaculada Concepcion de Malolos."
In their tenure, a replica of the image was placed in front of the Adoration Chapel's Capella Sanctorum (Chapel of the Saints). The statue is elevated high and is connected down with a set of stairs. Beside the entrance stairs is a book entitled "Prayer Requests" where devotees are expected to write their prayers, on the middle at the highest elevation is the statue of the Virgin. Beside the exit stairs is a book entitled "Answered prayers." Devotees were expected to write their own experiences of divine intervention through the said statue. The main reason of putting it apparently below the image, just after seeing the statue is that, reported incidents state that "just touching the image of the Virgin already performed the miracle."
The Canonical Coronation and the 50th Golden Jubilee
Due to popularity of miraculous attributes, a petition was made for the Canonical Coronation of the image at the main altar of Malolos Cathedral. In May 2011, the Vatican granted the petition for the canonical coronation through a papal bull. The Solemn Canonical Coronation held last March 10, 2012.
During the time of Msgr. Jaime Garcia and Fr. Conrado "Badong" Santos, Jr. and Renato "R.J." Brion, [2009–present] renovations and refurbishments inside and outside the cathedral and its patio were started in preparation for the Canonical Coronation and the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Malolos. When Msgr. Jaime Garcia died on June 4, 2011, Fr. Pablo S. Legaspi, Jr. replaced him as rector, continuing and completing the needed refurbishments in preparation for the diocese's Golden Jubilee.
The Kalayaan Tree
The Kalayaan Tree (Siar) is located in the patio of the Cathedral. Based on certain reports, it is not certain that Aguinaldo planted this tree because it is already matured Siar tree when the First Philippine Republic were established. The historical significance of this tree is that of a living witness to the Malolos Republic. Aguinaldo and his Cabinet have conducted many political discussions there. Under the tree is a monument that symbolizes the meeting of Filipino revolutionaries represented by Gregorio del Pilar and Gen. Isidoro Torres; Don Pablo Tecson, an erudite legislator; Padre Mariano Sevilla, a nationalist leader of the church and Doña Basilia Tantoco, portraying a woman freedom fighter.
- Blair and Robertson, The Philippine Islands, volume 34, page 304-310, paragraph 3
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