Jaro District, Iloilo City
Province of Iloilo
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The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Spanish: Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) or Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral informally known as Jaro Cathedral is the cathedral seat for the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jaro. It is located in district of Jaro in Iloilo City, in the province of Iloilo, on the island of Panay, in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is known as the shrine of Our Lady of the Candles under the original patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.
The shrine is constructed of Romanesque revival architecture. The bell tower unusually is located across a busy street on the Jaro Plaza. Such construction arrangement is rare in the Philippines. Usually the Churches and their belfries are built adjacent to each other, or at least they are located on the same plot of land. This is a remnant of an older building that collapsed during an earthquake.
The original cathedral was built in 1874 by the first bishop of Jaro, Mariano Cuartero, O.P. It was destroyed by an earthquake in January 1948 and later repaired in 1956 by the first Archbishop of Jaro, Jose Maria Cuenco. The current parish rector is Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, Divinitatis Doctor.
Surrounding the cathedral and sharing the same general location are a variety of archdiocesan and parish offices. There is also a perpetual adoration chapel. About a block away is the archdiocesan seminary and across the plaza is the archbishop’s palace.
In January 2012, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines approved the cathedral as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles. – wikipedia.org