Santuario de San Pedro Bautista
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2008)|
|Santuario de San Pedro Bautista
(Church of San Francisco Del Monte)
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Suffragan Diocese|
|Architectural type||Baroque Church|
|Materials||Sand, gravel, cement, mortar and steel|
The parish of Santuario de San Pedro Bautista (formerly named San Pedro Bautista Parish) is the second oldest church in the Philippines. It is where its Patron Saint, San Pedro Bautista, lived out his vocation, re-energized his missionary calling and prayed for God's people.
The parish belongs to the Diocese of Cubao under the Vicariate of San Pedro Bautista. It is also under the care of Order of Friars Minor (OFM, aka Franciscans), from the Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista.
When San Pedro Bautista was elected Custos, Superior of all the Franciscans in the Philippines, he saw the need for a secluded place where the missionaries could recharge physically, mentally and spiritually. He traveled north of Intramuros (Walled City of Manila) and founded the area - San Francisco del Monte on February 17, 1590.
San Francisco del Monte back then was an elevated area of 250 hectares with thick woods, surrounded by a creek and eight water springs. Fray Pedro Bautista built a little convent and a chapel of bamboo and nipa. He dedicated the chapel to Our Lady of Montecelli. The place was opened as a house of retreat for missionaries, a novitiate house and a place of reclusion for government officials.
The chapel was first replaced by a wooden structure, then by stone structure in 1599. The chapel was destroyed during the Limahong-led uprising in 1639 and was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1645.
In 1699, a church made of stone was built and the convent was restructured. The restructured chapel was dedicated to the newly beatified Blessed Pedro Bautista and his companion martyrs. The church structure of 1699 now serves as the main sanctuary of the current church.
In 1895, the friars abandoned the place and the Filipino revolutionary forces occupied the church. In 1898, the American soldiers occupied the church. Then the church was left idle until it was repaired in 1912. In 1914, the church was blessed and a town fiesta was held to honor its Patron Saint - San Pedro Bautista.
On November 11, 1932, the church was declared a parish named in honor of its Founder and Patron Saint, San Pedro Bautista. Before the decree, the parish belonged to a parish in Caloocan (then a town northwest of San Francisco del Monte). A historical marker was placed at the facade of the old church at this time as well.
In the 1970s, the parish population grew and there was a need to build a bigger church. The bigger church was built in Spanish Mission architecture. The original church structure is the current sanctuary space. The church was built in accordance to the Vatican II. There was a huge crucifix at the center of the sanctuary and the floor was changed to marble. The former baroque altars were at the side altars and sacristy of the church.
The church is also connected to the church convent. The church convent has a quadrangle located at the back of the sanctuary. It reminds people of the age of the church with large stones used to build the area and a garden in honor of St. Francis of Assisi at the center. On the second floor are the residence rooms of the priests stationed at the parish. There are a few gardens located in the convent area. Underneath the location of the original altar is the Holy Cave of San Pedro Bautista and all missionaries who contemplated and communicated with God prior to their missions. The holy cave also has a bronze statue of San Pedro Bautista in contemplative prayer. There are kneelers available for people to pray. Outside the holy cave are the remains of some of the former priests of the parish as well facing the creek. In the area is a statue of St. Francis with his arms crossed on his chest in prayer.
Beside the parish grounds is the Headquarters of the Franciscan Province of the Philippines or the Friary House.
In 1989, the three-centuries old baroque altars were transferred to the main sanctuary in time for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of San Francisco del Monte on February 17, 1990.
The life size image of San Pedro Bautista was enshrined at the center of the altar. Other Franciscan saints (such as St. Anthony of Padua, OFM, St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, OFM, St. Francis of Assisi St. Clare of Assisi and St. Felipe de Jesus, OFM (which was donated by the Evardoni family) ) occupied the other baroque altars in the main sanctuary. The dedication ceremony of the new sanctuary was headed by the Franciscan Superior of the order. The feast day celebration that year (2/17/90) was headed by Jaime Cardinal Sin.
February 5, 1997, the parish marked the 400th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of San Pedro Bautista. Two murals were created to commemorate the life of San Pedro Bautista are on display on each side of the sanctuary. The mural on the left is that of the life of San Pedro Bautista from Avila, Spain to San Francisco del Monte, from teaching the natives the use of musical instruments to finding medicinal use for the natural springs of Los Banos, Laguna, from his arrival to the shores of Japan to his death in Nagasaki. The mural on the right is that of the martyrdom scene on the hill of Nagasaki.
On February 25, 2001, the parish church was declared an archdiocesan shrine and the name was changed to Sanctuario de San Pedro Bautista in view of its historical and religious significance to the then Archdiocese of Manila.
In 2003, the Diocese of Cubao was created from the Archdiocese of Manila. The Diocesan Coat of Arms has a Tau cross on top of the hills. It reminds the faithful of the Franciscan missionary and martyr, San Pedro Bautista, who founded the first missions in San Francisco del Monte in the late 16th century before he was martyred in Japan.
Santuario de San Pedro Bautista covers six barangays, namely: Damayan, Del Monte, Mariblo, Paraiso, Sta. Cruz, and Talayan.
Boundaries: Pat Senador St. (West Bound), Quezon Avenue (East Bound) Araneta Avenue (South Bound) Judge Juan Luna Street (North Bound)
Name of Parish:
- Santuario de San Pedro Bautista
- Nearest Sunday to February 5
- San Pedro Bautista
Date of Established:
- November 11, 1932
Current Parish Priest
- Rev. Fr. Edwin Peter R. Dionisio, OFM
The Pastoral Team
- Fr. Cielo Almazan, OFM (Guardian)
- Fr. Somerset Icalina, OFM (House Bursar/Parochial Vicar)
- Fr. Elias Manlangit, OFM (Resident Friar)
- Fr. Rolie Pimentero, OFM (Postulancy Director)
Former Parish Priests
- Fr. Mariano Montero, OFM (1932–1933)
- Fr. Jose Agundez, OFM (1933–1935)
- Fr. Francisco Santos, OFM (1935–1938)
- Fr. Blas Garcia, OFM (1938–1939),
- Fr. Alejandro Carrasco, OFM (1939–1943)
- Fr. Angel Portalatin, OFM (1943–1945)
- Fr. Gerardo Chicano, OFM (1945–1954)
- Fr. Roberto Mangubat, OFM (1954–1960)
- Fr. Silvestre Murillo, OFM (1960–1964)
- Fr. Segundino Blanco, OFM (1964–1966)
- Fr. Jesus Martinez, OFM (1966–1967)
- Fr. Agapito Diez, OFM (1967)
- Fr. Jose Barullo, OFM (1967–1968)
- Fr. Leon Ramos, OFM (1968–1969)
- Fr. Agapito Diez, OFM (1969–1983)
- Fr. Alberto Baldo, OFM (1983–1989)
- Fr. Jimmy Giron, OFM (1989–1995)
- Fr. Romeo Gil Abesamis, OFM (April 1995-November 1995)
- Fr. Cielo Almazan, OFM (1995-April 1996)
- Fr. Roberto Manansala, OFM (1996–2002)
- Fr. Reu Jose Galoy, OFM (April 2002 – 2006)
- Fr. Carlos Santos, OFM (2006-December 2009)
- Fr. Romeo Floralde, OFM (December 2009-April 2010)
- Fr. Alberto Marfil, OFM (2010-2013)
- Parish Center (located across the Parish)
- Brother Sun Sister Moon Garden
- Monticelli Hall
- San Pedro Bautista Parish Mortuary
- Order of Frias Minor a.k.a. Franciscans (OFM) 69 San Pedro Bautista St., SFDM, Q.C.
- Franciscans Handmaids of the Good Shepherd (FHGS) 18 Besang Pass Talayan Village, Q.C.
- Ecclesiastical Atlas Roman Catholic Diocese of Cubao (2010)
- Santuario de San Pedro Bautista (http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/spbp70/index.html&date=2009-10-25+22:15:42)
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cubao (http://www.dioceseofcubao.org/)
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