Sunday, March 29, 2015

Old Churches of Cavite:
Rosario Church

       So the 3rd church we visited in Cavite on that gloomy 11th day of March is the  Church of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Queen of Caracol. Please do excuse this horrible photo. It was difficult to find a good angle that will show more of the facade and less of that big tarp signage installed above the porch. The porch obviously isn't part of the original structure. The construction of the stone church began sometime in 1845. 

    Rosario, by area, is the smallest municipality in Cavite so we really didn't expect to see a church with the size of a basilica. Small as it may be, the interior of Rosario Church is charmingly rustic. No overwhelming retablos to distract an art aficionado from his prayers. The church, however keeps something that is of great value to the to the town...

     This is a replica of the antique painting that is kept at the altar of the church. The original icon is the very key to the foundation of the town and parish of Rosario. It is said that the Marian icon was given to the townsfolk  by the crewmen of a cargo boat from Mindoro, the morning after being caught in a hurricane at sea. During that frightful night the captain of the boat prayed to this image of the Virgin and promised to build a chapel in her honor if they survive.

       And so when the sailors finally made it to shore they had a chapel  built on the ground made of bamboo and even used some of the wood from their battered boat to build an altar.  After a thanksgiving feast, they left the framed painting, and the story of how it miraculously saved their lives, to the people of the coastal bario that was then called Mojon. After sometime, the people decided to relocate the chapel and give their precious gift a permanent home which is the old adobe church standing there today. Read about the beginnings of the town of Rosario, the financial struggle to build the church, and the story behind the Caracol Festival by following this link

    Another remarkable feature in Rosario church is this life-size statue of a sorrowful Virgin Mary. I'm not sure if it's antique but I simply love the sad and beautiful face that is realistically done. 

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