Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pangasinan: The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag

Standing on top of a hill overlooking the town of Manaoag, Pangasinan is the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag. It is more popularly known as Our Lady of Manaoag Church. According to folk tradition, a middle-aged farmer witnessed an apparition of the Blessed Mother and she showed her where she wanted her church to be built. 

Manaoag is known as a pilgrimage town, with thousands of devotee converging at the Basilica every Saturday and Sunday. Manaoag is also referred to as the Pilgrim Center of the North.

The church was generally completed in 1911-1912 while the central retablo was finished in 1931-1932. It has been under the supervision of the Philippine Dominican Province since December 8, 1972.

The center of devotion is the Lady of the Holy Rosary. Her ivory image is enshrined in the high altar of the church. Devotees believed that her image possesses miraculous powers. Miraculous and pious events are depicted in murals displayed all over the church.

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag was declared a Minor Basilica by His Holiness Pope Francis on October 11, 2014. The Solemn Proclamation Mass was celebrated on February 17, 2015. 

According to the church's website, peak seasons of pilgrimages are during Lenten and Easter, the month of May and October which is known as the Holy Rosary Month.

Behind the church are the Parish Office, Museum of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, Candle Gallery, Pilgrims' Center and Rosary Garden. A shop which sells religious souvenirs is located at the front office of the church. 

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