Filipinos are naturally god-fearing. Even as children, it has always been a custom to visit the church every Sunday or whenever possible. Our Lady of Manaoag church is a famous destination for thousands of catholic devotees not only in the Philippines but from all over the world as well. This Roman Catholic Pilgrimage site is situated approximately 200 kilometers north of Manila in the municipality of Manaoag, province of Pangasinan.
Filipinos considered Our Lady of Manaoag as the revered patroness of the sick, the helpless, and the needy. Countless tales of its healing powers were accounted since its foundation in 1610. Several stories of miraculous events were also reported including the Japanese bombing incident. During the World War II, the Japanese army dropped several bombs in the area. Some exploded while those that fell on the roof of the shrine inflicted no damage and failed to explode.
A 17th century Roman Catholic ivory statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding a rosary on the left hand and a child on the right. This was brought to the Philippines by Padre Juan de San Jacinto from Spain.
A staircase that rises to a second floor at the back of the altar was made for the devotees who desire to fervently touch even just the garment of the patron.
Similar to any other Catholic churches, devotees light candles when visiting this place. A personal prayer is said before lighting a candle offering. For those who do not have their own, a standard prayer hangs from the ceiling. Candles are lit either as a gesture of thanksgiving for granted favors and blessings, or as a way of lifting up prayer intentions either personal or for other people.
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