The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception ( fil|Basilika Menor at Kalakhang Katedral ng Kalinis-linisang Paglilihi; es|Basílica Menor y Catedral Metropolitana de la Inmaculada Concepción), also known as the Manila Cathedral ( es|Catedral de Manila), is the cathedral
located in Intramuros
, the historic walled city within today's modern city of Manila, Philippines
. It is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception
, a title for the Blessed Virgin Mary
, the principal patroness
of the country. The cathedral serves as the episcopal seat
of the Archbishop of Manila
The cathedral was originally a parish church in Manila under the Archdiocese of Mexico
in 1571, until it became a separate diocese on February 6, 1579 upon the issuance of the papal bull
, by Pope Gregory XIII
["The First Cathedral:1581 – 1583"](_blank)
Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica. Retrieved on 2011-11-24.
The cathedral was damaged and destroyed several times since the original structure was built in 1581 while the eighth and current structure of the cathedral was completed in 1958.
Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica. Retrieved on 2011-11-24.
The basilica has merited a papal endorsement from Pope Gregory XIII and three apostolic visits from Pope Paul VI
, Pope John Paul II
and Pope Francis
. On 27 April 1981, Pope John Paul II issued papal bull
designating the cathedral as a minor basilica
by his own .
Litterae Apostolicae. Ioannem Paulum Secundum, Papam. Manillensis Archidiocesis.
The cathedral was originally the "church of Manila" officially established in 1571 by a secular priest
, Fray Juan de Vivero, who arrived in Manila Bay
in 1566. De Vivero, the chaplain
on the galleon
of ''San Gerónimo'', was sent by the Archbishop of Mexico
, Alonso de Montúfar
, to establish Christianity
as the spiritual and religious administration in newly colonized Philippines. De Vivero later became the vicar-general
and the first ecclesiastical judge of the city of Manila.
Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi
chose the location of the church and placed it under the patronage of Santa Potenciana
. The first parish priest of the church was Fray Juan de Villanueva.
["The Church before it became a Cathedral : 1571"](_blank)
Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica. Retrieved on 2011-11-24.
When the church was elevated to a cathedral
in 1579 (coinciding with the canonical erection of the Diocese of Manila), a new structure made from nipa
, wood, and bamboo
was constructed in 1581 by Domingo de Salazar
, the first-ever bishop of Manila. The new structure was consecrated
on December 21, 1581; formally becoming a cathedral. The structure was destroyed by fire in 1583, which started during the funeral Mass for Governor-General Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa
in San Agustin Church
that razed much of the city.
The second cathedral, which was made of stone, was built in 1592. However, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1600.
Construction of the third cathedral began in 1614. The new structure, consisting of three naves and seven chapels, was blessed in 1614. It again toppled by another earthquake which shook Manila in 1645.
The fourth cathedral was constructed from 1654 to 1671. In 1750, a ''media naranja'' ("half orange") dome was added to the crossing by the Florentine
friar Juan de Uguccioni, who also introduced a transept
to the structure. It was severely damaged in 1863 by a very strong earthquake, that also damaged the palace of the Governor General of the Philippines.
The seventh cathedral was constructed from 1870 to 1879. It was solemnly consecrated in December 1879. The cross atop the central dome is a reference point of astronomical longitudes of the archipelago. In 1880, another earthquake
toppled its bell tower
, rendering the cathedral towerless until 1958.
In 1937, the International Eucharistic Congress
was held in the Philippines in which the cathedral played an integral part in promoting eucharistic
beliefs. Both a cathedral stamp and medal were unveiled in commemoration of the event and was made by the official manufacturer of medals for the Congress of the Philippines
at the time, the sculptor Críspulo Zamora.This incarnation of the cathedral, was reduced to rubble by the Japanese in a scorched-earth defense in 1945 during the Battle of Manila
, as the Second World War
neared its conclusion.
The cathedral's present incarnation, was constructed from 1954 to 1958 under Most Rev. Rufino J. Cardinal Santos
, ; and under the supervision of the notable Kapampangan architect Fernando H. Ocampo
Pope Paul VI
made an apostolic visit and celebrated Mass in the cathedral in 1970. Pope John Paul II
issued a papal bull
''Quod Ipsum'' on April 27, 1981; elevating the shrine to a minor basilica through his own ''Motu Proprio''.
In the same papal bull, he reiterated that Pope Paul VI's papal decree of June 6, 1968 be eternally preserved and enforced to the merits and titles of the cathedral as its own basilica.
The cathedral's 50th restoration anniversary was celebrated in 2008, highlighted by the second Manila Cathedral Pipe Organ Festival from December 2 to 10, organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
In February 2011, bells were moved to the ground level to prevent tower collapse as shown in the past earthquakes. In January 2012, bells were replaced by new ones personally cast by blacksmith Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling from Heidelberg
, Germany in 1958. According to the new marker installed by Manila Archbishop Most Rev. Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales
, , the newly installed bells are the largest bells actively used in the Philippines. A total of seven ''Carillon'' bells were permanently installed in the ground level of the belfry, weighing at .
2012 renovation and 2014 reopening
The cathedral underwent repairs for earthquake retrofit
ting and subsidence
prevention in 2012. During this time, the San Fernando de Dilao Church
was designated as the temporary official church (pro-cathedral) of the Archdiocese of Manila. However, Msgr. Nestor Cerbo stated that the cathedral would finish its renovations on March 25, 2014. Some added features and changes include the installation of CCTV cameras, large flat screen television screens (similar to those found in Baclaran Church), improved audio-video systems, and improved interior and exterior LED lightings. The cathedral completed its restoration on the said date and was reopened to the general public on April 9, 2014 after two years of renovation. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle presided a Holy Mass, after the reopening of the cathedral, attended by President Benigno Aquino III
In the baptistery of Saint John the Baptist, at the left side of the vestibule from the side entrance, is preserved a reliquary-calendar containing 365 relics of the saints; at the 1st of November there is a bone fragment of Saint Caesarius of Terracina
, the saint protectors of the emperors, who replaced and Christianized the cult of Julius Caesar.
2015 Papal Visit
On January 16, 2015, Pope Francis
celebrated his first Papal Mass in the country at the cathedral as part of his apostolic visit to the Philippines. The mass was celebrated for the bishops, priests, and the clergy in three languages: Latin, English, and Filipino.
center|900x900px|Panorama view of the interior of the cathedral
In 1581 Pope Gregory XIII
issued a papal bull consecrating the cathedral building to ''La Purísima Inmaculada Concepción de María'',
while Miguel López de Legazpi
consecrated the city of Manila to Saint Potenciana
On 12 September 1942, Pope Pius XII
rededicated the Filipino people to ''La Purísima Inmaculada Concepción
'' through a Papal Bull
called ''Impositi Nobis'', while Saint Rose of Lima
and Saint Potenciana
remained as the secondary patronesses of the Filipino
people, as cited in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis
from 20 January 1942.
*Most Rev. Artemio Gabriel Casas, D.D.
*Rev. Msgr. Jose C. Abriol, P.A.
*Rev. Msgr. Augusto Pedrosa, H.P.
*Rev. Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos Jr., P.C.
*Rev. Msgr. Hernando M. Coronel, P.C.
*Rev. Msgr. Nestor C. Cerbo, P.C.
*Rev. Fr. Reginald R. Malicdem, (1 July 2015 – incumbent)
Burials and funerals
The cathedral crypt is the resting place for former Archbishops of Manila and a few other prelates:
*Michael J. O'Doherty
, the last foreign archbishop of Manila
*Gabriel M. Reyes
, the first Filipino
archbishop of Manila
*Rufino J. Cardinal Santos
, the first Filipino cardinal
*Jaime L. Cardinal Sin
, a prominent leader of the 1986 People Power Revolution
*Dom Ambrose Agius
, a Maltese monsignor
who ordained the first Filipino
bishop (until 1945; remains transferred to the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat
, Mendiola Street
Two former Presidents were permitted to lie in state
under the cathedral dome:
*Carlos P. García
, 8th President of the Philippines (1957–1961) (d. 1971);
*Corazón C. Aquino
, 11th President of the Philippines (1986–1992) (d. 2009)
President García was the first layman
to lie-in-state and have his Requiem Mass
said at the cathedral; President Aquino was only the second layperson and the first woman given this honour during her funeral
. This broke with centuries of tradition that reserved the right of lying-in-state beneath the dome to archbishops of Manila.
Details of the shrine
The northwest façade
is a replica of the façade of the previous cathedral, along with statues of famous saints sculpted in Roman travertine
stone. Several of the artworks inside the basilica were made by Italian
artists. In the previous cathedral, they were originally made of molave
wood. The statue of Saint Rose of Lima
was sculpted by Angelo Fattinanzi while Saint Jacob
, Saint Andrew
, and Saint Anthony the Abbott
were by sculptress Livia Papini. The statues of Saint Francis Xavier
and Saint Polycarp
were done by Alcide Tico.
above the central northwest doors bears the Latin
inscription ''Tibi cordi tuo immaculato concredimus nos ac consecramus'' (English: "To thy Immaculate Heart
, entrust us and consecrate us").
Since Pope John Paul II
's apostolic visit to the basilica in 1981, a medallion bearing the Papal arms
has been placed beneath the cross on the northwest end. The red galero
hat of Cardinal Jaime Sin
is also suspended from the ceiling of the dome. In addition, a copy of Saint Peter
's statue (attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio
) is enshrined inside, across a polychrome life-sized statue of the Immaculate Conception
Prior to 1988, the bronze statue of the Immaculate Conception in the main altar, by national Italian sculptor Vincenzo Assenza, was painted gold until 1988 (though the twelve star halo
-aureola is solid gold). Inscribed on the baldachin
above the statue of the Immaculate Conception is the Latin antiphon
''Tota Pulchra es Maria et Macula Originalis Non est in Te
'' (English: "Thou art all-beautiful, Mary, and the original stain pot
(of sin) is not in thee.").
The baptismal font
and angel-shaped holy water font
s are also made of solid bronze by Publio Morbiducci; the prominent mosaic of Saint Jude Thaddeus
was made by Marcello Mazzoli. The 134 modern stained glass windows were made in 1964 by Filipino artist Galo Ocampo
. The window set, which was a programme of Marian themes, was commissioned and funded by Cardinal Rufino Jiao Santos
The artistic designs of the stained glass windows of the Manila Cathedral are mostly products of the creative genius of Ocampo, one of the most versatile contemporary Filipino artists during his time and a recipient of the 1964 Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award from the city government of Manila.
The marble floors on the center aisle near the altar bears the coat of arms of four cardinal archbishops of Manila, Rufino Santos, Jaime Sin, Gaudencio Rosales and more recent Luis Antonio Tagle.
File:Manila Cathedral Facade.JPG|Modern facade
File:Cattedrale di Manila, esposizione dell'icona Caesarius Diaconus, opera dell'artista Giovanni Guida.jpg|The high altar
File:Manila Cathedral (1792) by Brambila.jpg|The cathedral in 1792, by Fernando Brambila
File:Manila Cathedral belfry after the 1880 earthquake.jpg|Manila Cathedral belfry after the 1880 earthquake
File:Manila Cathedral (1899).jpg|Manila Cathedral in 1899
File:Manila Cathedral guardia civil.jpg|The cathedral
File:Manila Cathedral dome & facade crosses.jpg|The patinated dome of the cathedral and its four-armed cross
File:FvfManilaCathedral8556 01.JPG|Interior of the Manila Cathedral
File:FvfManilaCathedral8556 07.JPG|The central nave and vaulted ceiling of the cathedral
File:FvfManilaCathedral8410 06.JPG|The vaulted ceiling of the cathedral
File:Manila Cathedral Wedding.jpg|A wedding at the high altar
File:FvfManilaCathedral9954 24.JPG|The high altar
File:FvfManilaCathedral8552 01.JPG|Iron gates inside restored
File:FvfManilaCathedral8556 02.JPG|Marble floors and columns repolished
File:FvfManilaCathedral8440 05.JPG|The dome of the cathedral from the inside, in which the ''galero'' of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin is suspended
File:FvfManilaCathedral8588 21.JPG|Manila Cathedral at night
File:Manila Cathedral Facade.jpg|Manila Cathedral at night, with the Charles IV fountain in the foreground
File:Manila Cathedral in the early morning.jpg|The cathedral in early morning, 2018
Manila Cathedral-Basilica Re-Opening (April 9, 2014 Eucharist after Restoration and Retrofitting)
*Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila
*Roman Catholicism in the Philippines
*San Agustin Church
Official website of Manila Cathedral
Category:Roman Catholic churches in Manila
Category:Roman Catholic cathedrals in the Philippines
Category:Buildings and structures in Intramuros
Category:Cultural Properties of the Philippines in Metro Manila
Category:Tourist attractions in Manila
Category:Romanesque Revival church buildings
Category:Basilica churches in the Philippines
Category:Roman Catholic churches completed in 1958
Category:20th-century Roman Catholic church buildings in the Philippines