Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles 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 church is the famous Parish of Our Lady of Candles, also known as the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Jaro and the site of a miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary, which was canonically crowned by the late Pope John Paul II during his visit in 1982. The image is the only religious icon in the country to have been personally crowned by a Pope.
Jaro Belfry, ruined in a 1948 earthquake, but now restored. One of the few belfries in the country that stands apart from the church.
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.