Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores - Missionary, Apostle of Guam, Martyr, Master and Friend of St. Pedro Calungsod

In the previous blogposts, we have featured the life and martyrdom of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and the heroic martyrdom of his companion martyrs in a separate article. Due to its good number of readership on both the lives of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and his companions, it is just fitting to do the same to our second Filipino saint, St. Pedro Calungsod where he is in fact one of the assistants of the great Missionary and Martyr of Guam - Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores.

Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores gained much renowned for his missionary work in Guam and his martyrdom that it was recorded prominently in the annals of the Archdiocese of Manila and the cause for his canonization is still under process.

Early Life

Diego Luis de San Vitores was born into a noble family in Burgos, Spain, in 1627. His father had been appointed the city treasurer and had received honors and titles from the king for his service; later he became one of the ministers of the Royal Treasury.

Heeding the Call

Diego was a pi…

Sto. Niño de Bago Bantay - Bago Bantay's Catalyst of Change

In confines of Quezon City, one of the most visited, and somehow controversial, shrine in this city draws local devotion and pilgrims for decades, this is the Diocesan Shrine of Santo Niño de Bago Bantay. This miraculous and cute image of the Child Jesus would became a catalyst of social change when Bago Bantay faced much moral struggles and became a witness to the change and development of the area.

The image

The image of Santo Niño de Bago Bantay presents the Holy Child in its traditional attributes, wears a princely garb of a velvet cape covering his princely attire, holds the scepter and the globus cruciger - symbols of power and dominion, wears an ornate crown, wears a pair of boots and standing in an ornate base. The face of the Child is round and chubby with his charming smile adds charm to this image.

The beginnings

The story of the devotion to Sto. Niño de Bago Bantay is intertwined in the beginnings of Bago Bantay itself. Bago-Bantay started as a small barrio in the 1930s, bu…

San Miguel Arcangel de Iligan - The Powerful Patron of Iligan City

Iligan City is a highly urbanized city in Mindanao and one of the most progressive and biggest in the country. Here, one can witness a rich diversity and co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the city. In this modern and progressive city, the Iliganons attribute their prosperity to their beloved patron, San Miguel Arcangel. The miraculous image of San Miguel de Iligan is the focal point of devotion in the city and one of the most important for he became part of the history of this city as he became their protector and refuge.

The image

There were two statues of San Miguel Arcangel venerated in Iligan City. The first is the older old brown skinned statue who sports the traditional warrior vestments of different colors, holds a shield, stepping wears a helmet with colorful feathers patterned to the Aztec iconography of San Miguel that can also be seen in other images of San Miguel in Bacoor, Cavite among others. The original image, often known as the "guerrero" image, has …

Nuestra Señora de la Presentacion de Colegio de Santa Isabel - The Watchful Mother of Santa Isabel College

Santa Isabel College, one of the oldest existing girls school (now a co-ed college) in the country is known for honing its students with knowledge that can use to pursue their future careers and the faith to hold on to. The Colegio's chapel is also known as the throne of the miraculous Señor Santo Cristo del Tesoro, one of the Palladium images of Old Manila, the two processional tableaux of the apparitions of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and the petite image of Nuestra Señora de la Presentacion.

The image

The petite image of Nuestra Señora de la Presentacion of Sta. Isabel College is a de tallado image of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she stands in column-like base, her hands in a prayer postition, her vestments of white and blue alludes the fashion of the Spanish court: a wide cone-shaped white dress, a blue cape, a white veil and a crown. The Virgin looks directly to the beholder as if she wanted to convey a message.

The image at present is currently enthroned at the retablo…

Apo Consolacion: The Forgotten Mary of the Ilocanos - A Special Report

Written by Rev. Fr. Ericson M. Josue

Editor's note: While I am doing some research on the devotion and history of Nuestra Señora de la Consolacion y Correa of San Agustin Church of Intramuros, Manila for a blogpost dedicated to her, I stumbled upon this post and research regarding the devotion to Nuestra Señora de la Consolacion y Correa in Ilocandia and its current state by Fr. Ericson Josue which shows the sad state of the devotion to La Consolacion given that the Ilocandia region was in fact an Augustinian mission province and it is inevitable that the devotion to Our Lady of Consolation and Cincture will be propagated. The devotion to La Consolacion in Ilocandia was similar to the case in Bulacan province (the Augustinian Mission side) that it almost went into oblivion if not through the efforts of the members of the Cofradia de la Nuestra Señora de la Consolacion y Correa. 

What I'll be presenting in this blogpost is the full article on this topic written by Fr. Josue to l…

Nuestra Señora de Lourdes de Cabetican - Cabetican's Miraculous Lady of the Grotto

Cabetican, a barangay located in Bacolor, Pampanga, is widely known as one of the pilgrim sites in the province of Pampanga due to its popular shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. The Cabetican shrine sees itself a pilgrims hub where numerous miracles, especially healing miracles, were reported through the Virgin's intercession and continues to happen up the present. 
The image
The beautiful image of  Nuestra Señora de Lourdes de Cabetican is a de tallado image of Our Lady based from the visions of St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. In this image, the image wears an all while robe and mantle with golden linings in detail on her veil and on ends of her robe. She wears a blue sash on her waist with two long ends, a rosary on her hand, her hands in prayer position and her head looking up to the heavens.The Virgin is standing on rocks (in allusion to the grotto) with her feet covered with golden roses. One can notice that the smiling countenance of the image while she looks upwards…

To Die a Thousand deaths for the True Faith - The Companion Martyrs of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz

Majority of Filipino Catholics knew Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the country's first ever Filipino canonized Saint. The whole nation rejoiced on the announcement, the beatification (held in Manila) and canonization rites in the 1980's. Numerous images, statues, books, novena booklets, prayer cards and other religious paraphernalia are widely circulated up to this day and after the canonization rites, schools, parishes and chapels were immediately erected in his honor. But if we look on the official Church documents, he was not canonized alone for he was canonized together with a group of Spanish and Japanese priests and Japanese lay men and women and he was made the leader of this particular group of martyrs. One common denominator of the group is that all of them died a martyrs death because of their missionary efforts in the then feudal Japanese empire that bans Christianity, Catholicism to be exact. It is so saddening that majority of the faithful did not seem to care much on who w…