The Jaro Cathedral: One of Iloilo's Oldest
Belle Piccio | Jun 06, 2014
The Jaro Cathedral was once destroyed by a quake in January 1948 and was only restored in 1956 under the order of the first archbishop of Jaro, His Excellency Jose Ma. Cuenco.
It came to be known as the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Metropolitan Cathedral in 1951 after the patroness of the Diocese of Jaro.
The Jaro belfry stands apart from the main church and can be seen just in front of the cathedral. The Jaro Cathedral is the first and only cathedral in the province.
On February 21, 1981, Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral and conducted a Mass. He declared the Lady of Candles as the Patroness of Western Visayas after he set the crown upon the Marian image.
The Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria or the Lady of the Candles is the only female among the all-male collection of the images that line the cathedral's interior walls.
The Lady of Candles is protected by a glass case which can be found at the front wall of the cathedral. Over the years, the Madonna and Child image is believed to have grown and could no longer fit its original casing.
It's said that the limestone kept on growing. Thus, the Marian image was removed and transferred to its present location.
The Marian image, which is over 400 years old, is the center of Jaro’s annual festival held every February 2. Her shrine is visited by devotees who believe it to be miraculous.
Trivia: The patriot and orator Graciano Lopez Jaena was baptized here in December 20, 1856.
Schedule of Masses
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Iloilo (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, one hour).
The Iloilo Airport is 30 minutes (approximately 19 km) away from Iloilo City.