Coordinates: 10°43′25″N 122°33′22″E / 10.72351°N 122.55622°E / 10.72351; 122.55622
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Roman Catholic church in Iloilo City, Philippines
Church in Iloilo City, Philippines
Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Elizabeth of HungaryNational Shrine of Our Lady of the CandlesKalakhang Katedral ni Santa Isabel ng Ungria at Pambansang Dambana ng Mahal na Birhen ng Candelaria (Filipino)Catedral Metropolitana de Santa Isabel de Hungría y Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Spanish)Main façade with the stairs leading to the image of Our Lady of the Candles (October 2022)Jaro CathedralShow map of VisayasJaro CathedralShow map of Philippines10°43′25″N 122°33′22″E / 10.72351°N 122.55622°E / 10.72351; 122.55622
Jaro, Iloilo City
May 27, 1865 (1865-05-27)
April 1587 (1587-04)
Elizabeth of Hungary
February 1874 (1874-02)
Our Lady of the Candles
National Historical Landmark
February 22, 1869 (1869-02-22)
1874 (1874), 1956 (1956)
71.8 m (236 ft)
28.7 m (94 ft)
49.8 m (163 ft)
Façade facing northeast
Jose Romeo Lazo
Very Rev. Msgr. Jose Marie Amado S. Delgado, P.C.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (Filipino: Kalakhang Katedral ni Santa Isabel ng Ungria; Catedral Metropolitana de Santa Isabel de Hungría), also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Filipino: Pambansang Dambana ng Mahal na Birhen ng Candelaria; Spanish: Santuario Nacional de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) and colloquially as Jaro Cathedral, is a cathedral located in the district of Jaro in Iloilo City, on the island of Panay in the Philippines. The seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jaro, it was placed under the patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. It was established in 1575 as a visita (chapel-of-ease) of Oton by the Augustinians and as a separate parish in 1587. The present-day structure of Jaro Cathedral was built in 1874.
The Catholic Bishops\' Conference of the Philippines formally declared the cathedral the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) in 2012. The cathedral is the fourth national shrine in the Visayas and Mindanao, after the Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu (1965), Mandaue Church (2001), and Virgen de la Regla Church in Lapu-Lapu City (2007). Likewise, it is also the second Marian-dedicated national shrine in Visayas and Mindanao, and the first in Western Visayas.
The image of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Candelaria) perched atop the façade of the cathedral, is the first Marian image canonically crowned personal by a Pope and Saint (John Paul II) in the Philippines and Asia. Also, through the said canonical crowning, the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria has been declared as the official Roman Catholic patron of Western Visayas and Romblon, and made known Jaro as the \'center of Candelaria devotion in the Philippine islands\'.
Jaro Cathedral was first established as a visita (chapel-of-ease) of Oton on March 3, 1575. It later became a visita of Arevalo in 1584. It later became a parish in April 1587 under the advocation of Our Lady of the Nativity.
In 1636, the población was transferred from Alanga to its present location for favorable weather and protection from Moro attacks. On October 31 of the same year, the patron was changed to Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.
After a century, plans for building a stone church were put in place by Fr. Juan Aguado. The first stone church was constructed from 1742 to 1744. The church was damaged by two earthquakes in 1787 and in the 19th century. Instead of reconstructing the church, it was built on a new site. The construction of the current cathedral structure was initiated by the first Bishop of Jaro, Mariano Cuartero, O.P.. Construction began on February 22, 1869, and was consecrated in January–February 1874. It was destroyed by the January 1948 Lady Caycay earthquake and later repaired in 1956 by the first Archbishop of Jaro, José María Cuenco.
The Marian image of Our Lady of the Candles also has the distinction of being canonically crowned personally by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Iloilo City on February 21, 1981, making it as the only Marian figure to be given such stature in the Philippines.
The journalist, national hero, and co-founder of the Propaganda Movement, Graciano López Jaena, was baptized in the cathedral on December 20, 1856.
The National Historical Institute of the Philippines declared the Jaro Cathedral an historical landmark in 1976.
In January 2012, the Catholic Bishops\' Conference of the Philippines approved the cathedral as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles, the second Marian-dedicated church or cathedral (1st National Shrine in Western Visayas) to receive such status in Visayas and Mindanao. It was declared as such on February 2 of the same year.
The shrine is constructed in the Romanesque Revival style, deviating from semi-circular arches. A distinctive feature is that the bell tower, Jaro Belfry, is located across a busy street from the church, on Jaro Plaza, resembling Ilocos churches. Typically, belfries are built next to their churches. In this case, the tower was adjacent to an earlier church, but an earthquake destroyed the church and left the tower. Another distinctive feature is the stairs attached to the front façade of the cathedral, over the main entrance, leading up to a shrine featuring a statue of Our Lady of the Candles, as can be seen in the picture at the top of this article. The church also possesses relics of St. Josemaría Escrivá.
Another feature of the church is its all-male ensemble of saints placed on the main pillars, with the exception of the Virgin\'s icon. The arrangement is in response to Molo Church\'s all-female theme.
On the cathedral grounds are several archdiocesan and parish offices, and a perpetual adoration chapel. About a block away is the archdiocesan seminary, St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary, and across the plaza is the archbishop\'s palace.
Our Lady of the Candles canonical crowning - During the apostolic visit of Pope John Paul II in the Philippines in February 1981, he crowned the image of the Our Lady of Candles, the first and only Marian image to receive such honor without a papal legate in the Philippines and Asia. Such event elevated the status of Candelaria as the patroness of Western Visayas and Jaro Cathedral as center of Candelaria devotion in the Philippine islands.
Baptisms of notable people - national hero, journalist and propagandist Graciano Lopez Jaena who was born in Jaro was baptized in Jaro Cathedral. Ilongga senator Grace Poe, a foundling herself, was found and baptized in Jaro Cathedral.
Encased image of the Our Lady of the Candles, patron of Western Visayas
The cathedral at night
Main high altar
Seats at the right side nave
One of the cathedral\'s side altars
National Historical Institute marker