Minalin Church

Minalin Church
Church of Santa Monica in Minalin, Pampanga, ca 1990 (CCP Collection)

Roman Catholic Parish Church of Santa Monica / Location: Minalin, Pampanga / Built ca 1834, reconstructed 1854

The Santa Monica Parish Church (Spanish: Iglesia Parroquial de Santa Mónica), commonly known as the Minalin Church, is a Baroque church, located in poblacion area of San Nicolas in Minalin, Pampanga, Philippines. The church, built during the Spanish era, was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the National Museum of the Philippines on August 27, 2011, one of 37 churches in the country bestowed that honor.

The parish church is part of the ecclesiastical province of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Fernando, under the Vicariate of Christ The King. The church is under the patronage of Saint Monica of Hippo, with a feast day celebrated annually every second Sunday of May. The current parish priest is Rev. Fr. Eric de Guzman succeeding Rev. Fr. Greg Vega.

Until 1614, Minalin was a visita (mission chapel) of Macabebe. In 1618, the Augustinian Miguel de Saldana was sent to minister to the town.

The Minalin Church stands on the bank of a creek. It is not known exactly how long the church has stood there nor which Augustinian friar built it. However, the church was most likely built in 1834. It was repaired and redecorated by Isidro Bernardo in 1877. There are records of minor repairs done by Gala de la Fuente in 1855 and Vicente Ruiz in 1895. The old brickwork was restored in the 1990s.

The facade resembles a retablo accentuated by Corinthian columns and flanked by twin hexagonal belfries. Floral carvings arching over the main door and the window above it add baroque detail. The two-level pediment is shaped like a truncated triangle, with clear divisions between the levels. Balustrades adorn the pediment sides. What used to hold a templete (an urn at the apex of the pediment), which once lighted the path of fisherfolk, is now a lantern-like bell tower. Capillas posas (small oratories) of stone, now rare in the whole country, are found in the church patio. Inside the church is an ornate wooden tabernacle and a retablo of San Agustin and Santa Monica.

SOURCE: Manila News-Intellegencer


Important symbols inside the Church of Santa Monica

The Cross
The most famous and widespread Christian symbol is the cross. It is found wherever there is a Christian presence. In Roman times, the cross was an instrument of torture and public humiliation, and criminals were put to death on crosses.

The crucifix is a cross with the figure of the body of Jesus Christ attached to it. This is a very common Catholic symbol that is often placed on or above the altar where the Eucharist is celebrated.

Alpha and Omega
Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They are used at various times in the Church liturgical year. The alpha and omega have been used by Catholics since the fourth century as symbols expressing the confidence of orthodox Christians in the scriptural proofs of God.

The Dove
The dove is a white bird often depicted in the Catholic Church as flying gracefully before a shining aura of light. Sometimes, the dove is carrying an olive branch in its beak.

The Sacred Heart
In Catholic art, the Sacred Heart is usually depicted as a flaming heart. It is also usually shining with divine light, pierced (presumably from a lance), encircled by a crown of thorns, surmounted by a cross, and bleeding. Sometimes it is shown in the bosom of Jesus Christ. The wound, thorns, and blood represent Jesus’ crucifixion, and the flames represent the transformative power of divine love.

Crossed Keys
In Christian art, crossed keys, sometimes known as the Keys of Heaven, are a pair of keys that overlap and interlock, creating an “X.” The keys are used as ecclesiastical heraldry, papal coats of arms, and symbolic images in holy places.

The Lamb
One of the most important symbols of Christ is the Lamb. Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God is mentioned in John 1:35-36 and Revelation 5:6-14, and always in the words of the Mass.

IHS and Chi-Rho
The letters IHS often appear on liturgical items, building plaques, gravestones, and sacred vessels. IHS is a shortened form of the Greek word for Jesus, which is “IHΣΟΥΣ.”

The Fish
One of the oldest Christian symbols is the fish. It was used by Christians to identify themselves and each other, often in times of persecution. It is often found in the Roman catacombs, a secret meeting place during the time when the Christians were persecuted for their faith by the Romans.

The fleur-de-lis is a stylized lily composed of three petals bound together at their base. The lily has been used in many places throughout history, serving formerly as the emblem depicted on the royal arms of France (a historically Catholic nation), and has always represented divinity.


Originally posted 2000-11-22 19:41:13.