San Miguel Church (Manila)

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San Miguel Church
National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels
San Miguel Church, Manila 07.jpg
Northern façade of the church with its twin belfries
San Miguel Church is located in Metro Manila
San Miguel Church
San Miguel Church
Location within Metro Manila
14°35′31″N 120°59′30″E / 14.59194°N 120.99167°E / 14.59194; 120.99167Coordinates: 14°35′31″N 120°59′30″E / 14.59194°N 120.99167°E / 14.59194; 120.99167
LocationJ.P. Laurel cor. Gen. Solano Streets,
San Miguel, Manila
DenominationRoman Catholic
StatusNational Shrine (1986)
DedicationThe Seven Archangels
Cult(s) presentSaint Michael and the Archangels
Functional statusActive
Architectural typeChurch building
StyleEuropean Baroque
ParishNational Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael and the Archangels
ArchbishopH.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D.
Priest(s)Rev. Fr. Genaro O. Diwa, SLL
Assistant priest(s)Rev. Fr. Herbert John B. Camacho

The Regal Parish and National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels, also known as San Miguel Church, is a Catholic church of the Latin Rite dedicated to the seven archangels, namely, Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, Saint Uriel, Saint Selatiel, Saint Jhudiel, and Saint Barachiel.[1]

Its current location on the corner of Jose Laurel Street and General Solano Street in the San Miguel district was once the site of La Fábrica de Cerveza de San Miguel (now San Miguel Brewery).[2]

The shrine is also known as Malacañang Church as it adjoins the Malacañang Palace complex, the official residence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines.[1] Among the presidents that have heard Mass at the shrine are Carlos P. García, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Fidel V. Ramos (who is Protestant).[1]

San Miguel Church has only about 1,500 parishioners, some of whom are desecnded from old-rich families in the district.[1] It is also notably the only Catholic church in the country where priests (instead of bishops) are canonically permitted to administer the sacrament of Confirmation twice a week.[1]


Statue of Saint Michael fighting the Devil, depicted as a dragon, in the parvise of the church.

San Miguel Church was first built in stone in 1603 by the Jesuits in Paco, Manila (formerly known as Dilao). In the 17th and early 18th centuries, there was an increase in the number of Japanese expatriates in that area, where they established a community.[3] In 1611, the Jesuits and Filipino Catholics accommodated the Japanese Christians who were persecuted by the Tokugawa Shogunate.[4] It was Blessed Dom Justo Takayama (高山右近), a daimyō or feudal lord, who led a group of approximately 300 Japanese Christians to the Philippines in 1614. According to some sources, the parish was named after Saint Michael, because most of the Japanese who arrived were of the samurai or warrior class.[5]

The church was damaged in the 1645 Luzon earthquake, and during the British Occupation that was part of the Seven Years' War. The church was rebuilt in 1913 on its present site through the generous assistance of Doña Margarita Róxas de Ayala.[3]

The church served as the pro-cathedral of the Archdiocese of Manila while Manila Cathedral was being rebuilt from 1946 to 1958 following the city’s destruction in World War II. It was elevated to the rank of National Shrine in 1986.[2][4] The church follows a European Baroque architecture, and features its symmetrical bell towers.

Notable events[edit]

Main retablo showing the statues of the seven archangels and a tableau of the Crucifixion.

On May 1, 1954, then-Ilocos Norte Representative and later President Ferdinand E. Marcos married then-beauty queen Imelda Romuáldez in the shrine (at the time still the pro-cathedral). Their wedding, which followed almost two weeks of courtship, was tagged as the Wedding of the Year, with President Ramon Magsaysay standing as Principal Sponsor.[6]

Archbishop Gabriel M. Reyes, the archdiocese's first Filipino ordinary who served from 1949 to 1952, was initially buried in the shrine before his remains were transferred to the crypt of Manila Cathedral.[1] Also buried in the church are the remains of Don Domingo Róxas, patriarch of the Zóbel-de Ayala-Róxas-Soriano clans.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Macas, Trisha (October 6, 2014). "A glimpse of the forgotten National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels". GMA News Online. GMA Network News. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Sebastian, Ina (October 18, 2014). "Manila: Back to the past touring Malacañang Palace, San Miguel neighborhood". Rappler. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c de Jesús, Joaquín Carlos (April 26, 2013). "San Miguel de Manila: Arrabal de una abadía, buenas familias y cerveza". Kamusta Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Churches to visit in QC, Manila". Philippine Daily Inquirer. March 27, 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  5. ^ De AnDA (February 17, 2014). "The Japanese of Old Manila". Retrieved 26 October 2014.[better source needed]
  6. ^ "Today in Philippine History, May 1, 1954, Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Romualdez were married". February 16, 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to San Miguel Church, Manila at Wikimedia Commons