The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is a Roman Catholic church located in the town of Manaoag in the Philippines. The church is renowned for its spiritual significance and is known for the miracles that are attributed to Our Lady of Manaoag. The church has a rich history that dates back to the 1600s and has been rebuilt and restored several times over the centuries.
The first Chapel of Santa Monica was built by the Augustinians in 1600, at the site of the present graveyard. The Dominicans took over the mission in 1605 and started building the large church on its present site in 1701 under the sponsorship of wealthy residents from Manila. The church was completed to a large extent in 1911-12 and the central retablo was completed by the famous Tampinco Atelier of Manila. In 1926, the Canonical Coronation of the image of Our Lady of Manaoag was held, and the Catholic Church officially recognized and proclaimed the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag.
During the Philippine Revolution for independence from Spain, revolutionaries set fire to the church, and the image was saved and spirited away to Dagupan City. The church was rebuilt after surviving Japanese bombardment during World War II, and spiritual administration of the shrine was granted to the Order of Preachers in 1925.
On 21 June 2011, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law canonically approved the granting of a “Special Bond of Spiritual Affinity in Perpetuity” between the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag and the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. This means that the pilgrims visiting the Manaoag Shrine are assured of the same blessings and entitlement to a plenary indulgence equal to that received when visiting a papal basilica in Rome.
The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is a testament to the deep spiritual heritage of the Philippines and continues to be a place of pilgrimage for devotees of Our Lady of Manaoag. The church is surrounded by facilities that cater to the needs of the pilgrims, including a museum, a candle gallery, a pilgrims’ center, and a rosary garden. The old convent is now the Our Lady of Manaoag College, and the church is under the Philippine Dominican Province.
In conclusion, the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is a significant religious site in the Philippines with a rich history dating back centuries. The church continues to be a place of pilgrimage for devotees of Our Lady of Manaoag and is a testament to the spiritual heritage of the Philippines.