The Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay is located in Barrio Caysasay, in the heritage town of Taal, in the province of Batangas, Philippines. It belongs to the Archdiocese of Lipa.
I was able to go to this shrine and touch the wooden statue of Our Lady of Caysasay. See a related post: Taal, Batangas, Philippines: OUR LADY OF CAYSASAY– The “Queen of the Archdiocese of Lipa”
The altar of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay
Look up … and this is what you see
For religious tourists, do not miss this shrine and the experience of touching the miraculous statue.
Here are 12 facts about the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay:
- It is a chapel made of coral stone, built in 1639 by Fr. Alonso Rodriguez (minister of Taal). It was completed in 1640 and dedicated to Our Lady of Caysasay, to serve as a perpetual shrine.
- Bricks and wood were also used to build this parish church.
- The shrine is 50 meters (160 feet) long and 10 meters (33 feet) wide.
- Behind the main altar lies the sacristy and a stairwell that leads to the room of the Virgin, where devotees could venerate.
The stairwell leading to the sacristy (accessed by turning right from the altar) where you can touch the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Caysasay
5. The church was first built around 1611 by the Chinese. It was constructed using light materials and was located near the river where the miraculous wooden image of Our Lady of Caysasay was found. An arch made of coral stone with a bass relief of Our Lady of Caysasay was built later on. On February 24, 1620, the Augustinians issued an order to construct a church in Caysasay, as a visita1 of Taal. It has been verified through serious investigation that the Most Holy Virgin appeared there. This Marian apparition was given the title Nuestra Señora de la Misericordia.
6. The roof of the church was partly destroyed in 1754 by the boulders and ashes from Taal Volcano but was quickly repaired.
7. During the earthquake of December 24, 1852, the walls of the church cracked and the towers fell. Fr. Celestino Mayordomo improvised a large makeshift shelter at the town plaza where the image of the Virgin of Caysasay was enshrined temporarily. Fr. Mayordomo also started the reconstruction work, which was completed in 1856. The twin towers rose again, the interior was newly painted, and the stone fence was completed. Once more, the image was solemnly enthroned in her home.
8. The sanctuary was damaged anew by tremors in 1867. Fr. Marcos Anton repaired the minor damages, installed a new altar and a presbytery floor, and constructed an iron balustrade around it. The interior was decorated under the direction of Italian decorator Cesar Alberoni.
9. In 1880, Fr. Agapito Aparicio installed an organ bought from the famous organist Don Doroteo Otorelin of Palencia, Spain.
10. Fortunately, the earthquake of 1880 did not cause serious damage to the sanctuary.
11. Other renovations followed: a coat of stucco2 cement was applied to the front wall and to the towers; and, the stone and brick wall was scraped clean to reveal its original color.
12. The Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia3 can be accessed via the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps4 from this shrine.
You go up these steps (San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps) from the shrine, go up that cemented elevation to the right, to reach the pathway leading to the Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia.
Just follow the pathway which leads to the Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia
Most of the information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay”5 and some information was given by our tour guide, Mr. Art Mojica (09165378973 and firstname.lastname@example.org). Contact him for an enlightening heritage tour of Taal.
I paid for my tour so this is not a sponsored post.
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1A visita, or chapel of ease, is a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently, according to the Wikipedia page “Chapel of Ease”.6
2Stucco is a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, basically made of lime and sand. It is also used as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture, according to the Wikipedia page “Stucco”.7
3The Miraculous Well of Sta. Lucia is a spring-fed well located in Barrio Caysasay, in Taal, Batangas, where two women saw the reflection of Our Lady of Caysasay. It can be accessed by way of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps4 of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay”.5
4San Lorenzo Ruiz Steps is a stairway of 125-granite steps leading up to the center of the town of Taal. Originally, the steps were made of adobe stone, but these were later replaced with granite, or batong song-song, in the year 1850, by Fr. Celestino Matordomo. Formerly called Hagdan-hagdan, the stairway has since been renamed and is now dedicated to the memory of San Lorenzo Ruiz. An inconspicuous narrow walkway from the steps takes visitors to the well. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay”.5
5“Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archdiocesan_Shrine_of_Our_Lady_of_Caysasay.
6“Chapel of ease,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapel_of_ease.
7“Stucco,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stucco.