Declared as the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2012, the Church of Pagsanjan dates back in 1687. From wood and nipa, the church was reconstructed in 1690 and was improved in 1853 and its transept was added in 1872. The Church has three-level early renaissance façade with semi-circular arched main entrance and choir loft window. It’s bell tower is three storey high with a dome on top. The church was badly damaged during World War II.
The Church is the home of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe which dates back in 1688. The image was a gift from Mexico and was enshrined in the main altar. The image was destroyed during the air raid of World War II. The Church’s marker states that “the Parish of Pagsanjan is the oldest Church in the entire Philippines under the patronship of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
Upon learning that the original image of the Our Lady of Gudalupe was destroyed during the air raid of March 15, 1945, the Mexican Catholics gifted the church with a life-sized image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The said image was made by Mexican sculptor Ramon Barreto. Another image was also carved by Manila sculptor Maximo Vicente.
On the side of the Church is the Capilla del Tilma de Guadalupe. The image of San Juan Diego and the stone relic from the Tepeyec Hill in Mexico was enthroned in the chapel. Please note that during my visit, visitors were not allowed to take pictures of the Chapel beyond the designated area, so please bear with the limit of my picture. I am also attaching some close up pictures of the Chapel from the Church’s Facebook page. Additionally, the Chapel retained its old façade and flooring. One can also see on the wall, the vestments of the priests who hail from Pagsanjan.