After visiting the Shrine of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila or Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, the next stop on my annual Good Friday pilgrimage is the National Shrine of the Our Lady of Lourdes located at the corner of Kanlaon Street and Retiro (now N.S. Amoranto Sr. Avenue).
I am not really familiar with the area, so what I did was, I rode a jeepney west-bound from Santo Domingo along Quezon Avenue to Kanlaon, the street before Welcome Rotonda. And then, since I am such an urban trekker, I went on a very long walk from Quezon Avenue to N.S. Amoranto Sr. believing that it will be just a short distance basing all my decisions from what it looks like on my phone’s map – I was wrong. Imagine me, refusing any means of transportation to Retiro at high noon on a Good Friday! Can you spell – H E A T S T R O K E?
Well the good news is, as I was traversing Sta. Mesa Heights, I was able to discover a small Catholic church in the middle of Kanlaon and Mayon, just a few blocks away from Dapitan Street. The parish is called Sta. Teresita del Nino Jesus.
According to history, the church in Retiro that enshrines the Our Lady of Lourdes was the original Sta. Teresita del Nino Jesus Parish, when World War II broke out, a temporary chapel was established in Mayon Street near Dapitan. After the war, the church in Retiro was completed and it was in 1977 when the chapel in Mayon Street was elevated to parish status by the late Cardinal Sin and the title of Sta. Teresita del Nino Jesus was transferred to this parish.
Sta. Teresita Parish is a modern church building, the actual church where they hold their Eucharistic Celebrations and all church activities are on the second floor. I was fortunate to discover this place, it served as a new experience and at the same time, a resting place during my long walk in search of the Shrine in Retiro.
Interestingly, this parish is also near a couple of new discoveries that might be of interest to a lot of people. For example, the corner of Dapitan and Kanlaon houses some local stores of native crafts and household items like vases, wooden plates, mason jars, artificial plants and many others. It is also near the Dapitan Linear Park and two supermarkets – Suki Market and Savemore Kanlaon.
On with my journey. Well, after that refreshing side trip, finding the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is a breeze.
Originally this Capuchin managed church was located in Intramuros, Manila. Damaged by the war, the recovered image of the Our lady of Lourdes was transferred in 1951 to its current location. The church was declared a National Shrine on January 24, 1997.
To those who invented the saying ‘the journey is worth more than the destination’, well it’s true, but I guess for this trip I think that both the journey and the destination are on equal footing. It is a simple church, a humble one that truly reflects the simplicity of the Capuchin monks’ lifestyle.
You should find it also interesting that within walking distance from the shrine are the N.S. Amoranto Park and several food establishments including the new Long life bakery and its NLLB Baked Pao.
My next and final stop on my Good Friday pilgrimage activity is the Shrine of Saint Peter Baptist or the Santuario de San Pedro Bautista also in Quezon City.