Saturday, June 15, 2013


Laguna is the name of a province in the Philippines, founded in 1571.  Franciscan missionaries began evangelizing the area in 1578 and built many fine, impressive churches.


San Pedro de Alcántara Church, Pakil

Named after a famous reformer of the Franciscan Order in Spain, Saint Peter of Alcántara.  Not only is the church a nice visit, it also houses Our Lady of Turumba.  The miraculous image of Our Lady was, according to an old tradition, sunk in the waters of the lake and later found by fishermen who found in very heavy to carry.  Others tried to carry it and found it nearly impossible to do so.  When townspeople began to dance and sing as they tried to lift it, the painting gave way and was easy to carry.

Main Altar

One of the side altars

A raised pulpit.  The priest had to walk a ways and up the stairs to preach from here.

Our Lady of Turumba's painting in the lower, center area

A 19th century poster of the Miraculous Image of Turumba, formally Our Lady of Sorrows.

Santiago Apostol Church, Paete

The Carving Capital of the Philippines, famous for its wood craftsmen.  The town name comes from the word for chisel.

The retablo

The Franciscans leave their mark by adding their Coat of Arms in various places.  The Coat of Arms includes the wounded hands of Jesus and Saint Francis.  Palm branches seem to be a common motif in Paete's church.

A native Saint Christopher

When restoring what they thought was the only painting of Saint Christopher in the church, workers discovered an even older painting of the saint underneath.  It is believed later Spanish friars thought the original, depicting the saint as a native, was a problem so they had another painting, with the saint looking more European, placed over this.

Paete's interesting balcony-like raised pulpit.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Pagsanjan

This is a famous tourist destination, primarily for its water fall.

In a side chapel, a beautiful altar for the image of the church titular.  That's Bishop Zumárraga on the left, the bishop of Mexico City at the time of the apparition.  Saint Juan Diego, the visionary, is on the right.

San Gregorio Magno Church, Majayjay

Built like a fortress and dedicated to Pope Saint Gregory the Great.

San Bartolomé Church, Nagcarlan

An exquisite retablo...

...and attractive floor tiles

Preaching lofty themes from a lofty pulpit.

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