Basílica Menor de la Virgen de Monserrate
Santuario de la Monserrate de Hormigueros and Casa de Peregrinos
|Location||1 Calle Peregrinos, Hormigueros, Puerto Rico|
|NRHP reference #||75002134|
|Added to NRHP||April 17, 1975|
The foundation of the basilica is on the site of a rural chapel built by a Catalan estate owner called Don Gerardo González, who was the owner of the valleys of the region. Although the specific date when the original chapel was constructed is not known, some records date it as far as 1590. Also, radiocarbon dating tests done to pieces of wood from a coffin found in the basilica point to the existence of the chapel as far back as 1570.
In 1696, the chapel acquired a guest house called Casa de Peligrinos (Pilgrims House). In 1814, Juan Alejo de Arizmendi, the first native Puerto Rican bishop, fell ill in this house after traveling around the island in his second pastoral visit. He desired to be buried in his beloved chapel. He died in Arecibo the following October 12, but his wishes were not followed, burial instead taking place in his catedral. The house is now the rectory of the basilica.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II raised the rank of the Church of Our Lady of Montserrat to that of a minor basilica, a distinction held previously on the island only by the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista in the capital.
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