Our Lady of Manaoag
|Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag
Birhen Ng Manaoag
The ivory bejeweled image enshrined in the main retablo of the shrine.
|Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine,Manaoag, Pangasinan,
|Feast||Third Sunday after Easter,
first Sunday of October (as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary)
|Attributes||fair complexion, with child Jesus, rosary, marshall's baton, royal regalia|
|Patronage||Manaoag, the sick, Pangasinense and Ilocano peoples|
Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag (website: Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag) (Filipino: Birhen Ng Manaoag; Spanish: Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de Manaoag (Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag); is Mary, The Mother of Jesus, as the patroness of the town of Manaoag, in the northern province of Pangasinan in the Philippines. It is the same Our Lady of the Rosary title globally ascribed unto The Blessed Virgin Mary.
With this highly esteemed and endearing title, Mary, The Mother of Jesus, is locally venerated as the patroness of the town, especially the sick, the helpless and the needy. She is often referred to in both the Pangasinense and Ilocano dialects by the sobriquet “Apo Baket” (English: "Venerable Madam").
“Apo Baket”' is used interchangeably towards the Our Lady of Manaoag, the Our Lady of Namacpacan in the town of Luna, La Union, and various other Marian titles in the Ilocos Region. Grandmothers and elderly women are addressed as Apo Baket in this region as a sign of love or respect.
Profuse testimonials and copious tales of her miraculous cures and indubitably astounding powers of intercession for other blessings from God spread through word of mouth nationally and eventually to foreign shores. These inspired the pilgrims and compelled those with morbidly dreadful diseases to seek her renowned healing miracles and most potent intervention for other requests and blessings. Thus, Our Lady of Manaoag is one of the most venerated Marian images in the country as the Blessed Virgin Mary is the patroness of the sick, the helpless, and those in need of favors from God especially through Jesus Christ. The devotees believe that the holy water and oil from the Shrine are epulotic - possess healing powers.
Tradition holds the town itself was born from the Virgin Mary’s call or "taoag" to the young man. The term manaoag was derived from this, and means "She Calls".
The title Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag is the same as The Our Lady of the Rosary used universally just like Mary’s other designations in The Litany in her honor as well as her more than 200 other identities or Labels of Reverence. It must be emphasized though that all of these names really refer to the same polyonymous Mary, The Mother of Christ. The “of Manaoag” epithet is an appendage to that title to merely associate her to the host town and to the parish.
The original icon depicting Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag is a 17th-century Roman Catholic ivory image of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus. It is enshrined in the high altar of its Minor Basilica in the town of Manaoag, in the province of Pangasinan, in the Northern part of the Philippines. This was canonically crowned in 1926.
Worldwide, Our Lady of the Rosary is depicted by the same images essentially of the Blessed Virgin Mary with The Child Jesus on her left arm. These figures vary basically in the material used, the rendition by the respective artists, the regalia, and the style of the vestments according to the native culture.
The icon of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag can thus be distinguished from the other icons of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary by its distinctive sculpture and magnificently exquisite regalia, and most especially by her crown.
It should be understood that The Real Mary, The True Mother of Jesus Christ, is in point of fact the one being addressed as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag. Mary is the one actually performing the miracles, granting the requests, or formidably interceding for the prayers of those that implore her miracles or most powerful intercessions and not the inanimate icon in all its majestic royal and opulent grandeur. The veneration, devotion, and prayers should be appropriately directed to the Blessed Virgin Mary and not to her icon depicting her in any of her various titles. It would not be just a fallacy but a sin of idolatry.
The Manaoag Shrine has been canonically affiliated with the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in the Vatican since June, 2011. It is administered by the Dominican Order under the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. It is the seat of an active parish serving Manaoag and the surrounding towns.
In fitting ceremonies on July 22, 2011 attended by more than 100 Archbishops and Bishops, church and government leaders, and devotees, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, standing on a hilltop in Manaoag, Pangasinan, was elevated into a Basilica. The Shrine will henceforth be called the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, to be headed by a Rector appointed by the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.
It is located approximately 200 kilometers north of Manila. It is easily accessible by public transportation. It is 4–5 hours by bus from Cubao, Quezon City.
The Dominicans started to build the church on its present site in 1701. It’s expansion began in 1882 but frustrated by an earth quake in 1892.
On May 10, 1898, the whole church was burned by the Revolutionaries. The miraculous image was found abandoned at the back of the church and was kept at Dagupan City for safekeeping from June to October 1898.
The Dominicans returned in 1901 and the church commenced in 1882 was finally completed to a large extent in 1911-12. The transept (The Arms of the Church) was completed in 1931-32.
Some of the miracles attributed to Our Lady of Manaoag are in the murals inside the church. The Paschal Chapel beside the south side of the church has the icons of The Nazarene, The Santo Entierro, and The Blessed Virgin.
The Sanctuary at the left side of the main entrance has a large Crucified Christ image.
Behind the church are the new: Parish Office, Museum of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, Candle Gallery, Pilgrims’ Center, Rosary Garden, and modern clean separate comfort rooms for each gender.
There is an Information Center at the Priory which is at the left side of the church.
There are religious souvenir shops at: the front office of the church; beside the Veneration Room at the second floor at the back of the church; and at the Candle Gallery at the back of the church.
The Agustinian Friars built the first chapel of Santa Monica (the original name of the town of Manaoag) which they served from the town of Lingayen. This was turned over to the Dominicans in 1605 and was served from the town of Mangaldan.
The first Dominican priest to work in the Manaoag mission was Fr. Juan De San Jacinto, O.P. the first Curate of Mangaldan. It was only in 1608 that the Mangaldan mission was formally accepted by the provincial chapter of the Dominican Order. In 1610 Fr. Tomas Jimenez, O.P. became the first resident priest as he took over the Manaoag mission.
Numerous threats from the Igorot tribes of the surrounding mountains led to the transfer of the entire community to the present site on a hill. A large church was built starting in 1701 under the sponsorship of Gaspar De Gamboa and his wife Agata Yangta, wealthy residents from Manila who transferred to Lingayen. Expansion of the church in 1882 was frustrated by an earthquake in 1892.
During the tumultuous days of the Philippine Revolution for Independence, on May 10, 1898, the whole church and its treasures, ornaments, and records were burned by the Revolutionaries. The miraculous image narrowly escaped destruction. It was found abandoned at the back of the church. From June to October 1898, it was kept at Dagupan City for safekeeping.
Invited by Fr. Mariano Pacis, diocesan priest of Manaoag, the Dominicans returned in 1901. Under the aegis of the Dominicans, the church commenced in 1882 was finally completed to a large extent in 1911-12. The central retablo (altar of the virgin), incorporating Baroque columns from the 18th-century altar, was completed by the famed Tampinco Atelier of Manila. The transept (The Arms of the Church) was completed in 1931-32.
The Dominicans ceded all their Pangasinan missions to the mitre (i.e. the diocesan clergy) except Manaoag. Spiritual administration of the shrine in perpetuity was granted by The Holy See to the Dominican Order in 1925.
The image was canonically crowned in 1926. It means that The Catholic Church, through The Holy See, officially recognized and proclaimed that The Blessed Virgin Mary acclaimed as The Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag had granted favors and blessings to or formidable intercessions for her devotees through the centuries.
The old convent is now the Our Lady of Manaoag College, the former Holy Rosary Academy founded in 1946 by the last Spanish Dominican in Manaoag, Fr. Teodulo Cajigal, O.P.
Since December 8, 1972, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag has been under the care of the Philippine Dominican Province.
The original ivory image was brought from Spain via Acapulco in the early 17th century to the Philippines by Padre Juan De San Jacinto.
Documents dating back to 1610 attest that a middle-aged farmer walking home heard a mysterious female voice. He looked around and saw on a cloud-veiled treetop an apparition of The Blessed Virgin Mary, holding a Rosary in her right hand and The Child Jesus in her left amidst a Heavenly Glow. Mary told the farmer where she wanted her church to be built. A chapel was built on the spot where Mary appeared to the man and the town quickly grew around it.
A huge crowd attended the canonical coronation of the image on April 21, 1926 by the then-Papal Nuncio, as authorized by Pope Pius XI.
The church was rebuilt after surviving the Japanese bombing during World War II.
It celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the image's coronation on January 1, 2000.
Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, Arch priest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, with permission of Pope Benedict XVI granted the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag a special bond of spiritual affinity through which the visitors of the Marian Shrine are assured of the same blessings of the Lord and the entitlement to a plenary indulgence equal to that received when visiting a papal basilica in Rome. This was confirmed by the prelate (now Archbishop) of the Lingayen-Dagupan Diocese, Socrates B. Villegas, in a circular dated June 13, 2011. The Manaoag Shrine is the first to achieve this status followed by the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay in Taal Batangas in June, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI canonically approved the grant of the plenary indulgence on June 21, 2011. The official document and a shrine official who was among the priests who went to Rome confirmed that the plenary indulgence may be obtained on each visit to the shrine subject to three conditions for each occasion: (1) going to confession immediately before or after the pilgrimage; (2) receiving The Eucharist during the pilgrimage; and (3) praying for the intentions of the Pope; each done in a spirit of detachment from the attraction of sin.
Our Lady of Manaoag has a 400-year history of renowned miraculous and pious events. Some of the earliest are replicated in the murals within the church. These include images of: the town miraculously spared from a wildfire, the origin of the basilica and the parish, and the original apparition. Devotees and foreign tourists visiting the shrine usually pray for good health or cure for diseases, among other intentions.
The magnanimously miraculous Our Lady of Manaoag has brought distinctive honor and fame to the eponymous town and to the province of Pangasinan.
In the early days of the Spanish colonization, animist mountain tribes burnt down newly converted Christian villages. The town of Manaoag was among the settlements set afire. The thatch-roofed church was the locals' last refuge. The leader of the pillagers climbed over the compound's crude fence and shot flaming arrows into all parts of the church, but, miraculously, the building did not ignite.
The statue's miraculous powers became famous in the 1940s. During World War II, the Japanese dropped several bombs within the church's vicinity. The structure was only moderately damaged. Four bombs were released above the church, with three landing on the plaza and the façade, destroying both. The last bomb fell into the sanctuary, but it remained intact because, miraculously, it did not explode.
Regalia and security
The original icon of Our Lady of Manaoag and its majestic bejewelled crown are considered priceless. There have been several attempts to burglarise the Manaoag Shrine due to the jewels sewn into the icon's dress and regalia.
Several golden crowns and haloes are deposited at the shrine's museum, which were donated by both Filipino and foreign devotees. An expensive collection of liturgical vestments that have been used by the image and the Dominican priests are also on display. A large array of lavishly elegant perfumes is likewise showcased. These were donated by devotees and pilgrims from around the world as ex votos or presents to the image.
The image of Our Lady of Manaoag is fully secured with bulletproof glass panels enclosing it above the new high altar with additional wood carvings, an elevated pedestal, and four golden candelabras. Its beautiful new blue background reflects Her Queenship. A new special Dominican logo has been embedded to manifest the devotion of the Order to her. The bas-relief, made of narra carvings beneath her throne that beautifully depicts the historic events in the devotion to Our Lady, has been refurbished.
The archdiocese, reckoning with the Filipino custom of touching a venerated image or its clothing, constructed a staircase that rises to the second floor Veneration Room behind the high altar. This room has pews, and people queue to kneel at the alcove behind the image's shrine. Supplicants touch the lower part of the image's mantle, and may drop their prayers into a box. After touching the mantle and praying, devotees pass through the religious souvenir shop on their way out.
The feast of Our Lady of Manaoag is on the third Wednesday of Easter. It also celebrates the universal feast day of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary every first Sunday of October. There are processions after the afternoon mass on these occasions.
Thousands converge on Saturdays and Sundays to pray for their intentions, hear Mass, pray the Rosary, offer flowers, light candles, buy religious articles, have religious articles or vehicles blessed, get Holy water, and join in the activities for the day or the season. The peaks of the pilgrimages are during the successive Lenten and Easter seasons, the month of May, and the month of October – the month of the Holy Rosary.
The 4 a.m. short procession and dawn rosary every first Saturday before the 5 a.m. Mass is well-attended by regular pilgrims mostly from Metro Manila and from Regions I (Ilocos), II (Cagayan Valley), and III (Central Luzon). (These first Saturday rites are pursuant to the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays requested by The Blessed Virgin Mary in her third apparition to the three children at Fatima on July 13, 1917 for the preservation of world peace.) There are staunch devotees coming from Metro Manila who remarkably hear Mass every week.
The blessing of religious articles and vehicles is performed at the back of the church grounds after every Mass. Holy water is also dispensed here free to those with receptacles.
Any of the Masses in the regular schedule may be offered for personal petitions and thanksgiving. Masses for the dead may be offered on any Friday except on Good Friday. These may be done through the parish office at the right side of the main entrance of the church; or at the back of the church beside the religious store at the entrance of the Candle Gallery. Mass offerings and donations may be done on-line through its website: www.manaoagshrine.org.
People who cannot come to the shrine may listen to Radyo Dominiko ng Manaoag 102.3FM which is likewise accessible through the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag .
The Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag has been visiting parishes in the Philippines. Details of how to request for its visit and the conditions are at its website: Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag .
- Roman Catholicism in the Philippines
- Marian apparition
- Our Lady of Naval, a similar Marian image enshrined in Quezon City.
Rosary Garden