Named after the patron saint of the first Spanish settlers in the Philippines, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, MRT Guadalupe Station is one of the busiest stops on the Manila Metro Rail Transit System Line 3. The station is located between two seminaries controlled the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, the San Carlos Seminary and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary, and is just a stone’s throw away from Pasig River.
A few minutes walk from the station is the five-centuries-old Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church that also houses the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Although Guadalupe Viejo and Guadalupe Nuevo in Makati got its name from Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Spanish) the original patroness of the church was Our Lady of Graces (also known as Nostra Signora delle Grazie in Italian). It was changed to Our Lady of Guadalupe following the request of several religious people to honor the memory of the Virgin Mary venerated in Extremadura, Spain. The wooden replica that was transported from Spain and enshrined on the church was damaged during the 1880 earthquake that struck Manila. Another replica was made after six years by Melchor and Gaspar San Pedro to replace the original, and this image was venerated until 1899 when it was lost during the Philippine-American War.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a venerated image enshrined in the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world– the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Official Catholic accounts state that the Virgin Mary appeared four times before a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac (now part of Villa de Guadalupe in Mexico). The maiden identified herself as the Virgin Mary and asked for a church to be built on that site in her honor.
He then sought the archbishop of Mexico and narrated what happened. Unsurprisingly, the bishop did not believe and instead instructed him to ask for a miraculous sign to prove her identity. After speaking to the maiden for the third time, she consented to provide one.
When his uncle fell ill the following day, Juan Diego once again spoke to the Virgin and explained what happened. In the words which became a famous phrase of the Guadalupe event, she asked, “¿No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?” (Am I not here, I who am your mother?). She assured him that his uncle will fully recover and told him to gather flowers at the top of Tepeyac Hill. He followed her instructions and he found Castillian roses, which was not native to Mexico. The Virgin Mary arranged the flowers in the shape of Juan’s cloak (tilma), and when he opened his cloak before the archbishop on December 12, the flowers fell, and on the fabric was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Today, the new Basilica houses the original cloak of Juan Diego, which holds the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
You can also read the history of the Guadalupe Church here.
– The Manila Project
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