The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country because of the influence of the Spanish colonial era. And when we talk about churches in the Philippines, the Marian parish churches never miss every devotee’s list like the Santa Maria Church in Ilocos Sur.
Get to know more about the religious structures dedicated to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Cover photo source: Wikimedia Commons
5 Must-Visit Marian Churches in the Philippines
From Santa Maria Church to Santa Maria Della Strada Parish Church, we’ve rounded up all the Marian parish churches in the Philippines you should visit at least once.
- Santa Maria Church – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Sta Maria Goretti Parish – Dedicated to the Young Saint
- Sta Maria Magdalena – A popular pilgrimage site during Holy Week
- Santa Maria Della Strada Parish Church – Built to accommodate the increasing number of churchgoers
- Sta Maria Church Balibago – A great place to visit for Visita Iglesia
What’s inside this blog?
- Santa Maria Church History
- Santa Maria Church Location
- Mass Schedule in Sta. Maria Church
- Other Marian Churches in the Philippines
- Frequently Asked Questions About Santa Maria Church
Read this guide to discover some of the Philippines’ best Marian churches.
Santa Maria Church History
Photo credits to Shubert Ciencia via Flickr
Most of the famous tourist spots in Ilocos Sur comprise old churches that are definitely worth visiting. Among the notable ones is the Santa Maria Church also known as the Church of La Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, part of the baroque churches in the country.
Built in 1765, the church of Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion exhibits a monumental brick facade and reinforced walls to protect it against earthquakes. Its appearance evokes a Mediterranean hill town, the only example of such in the Philippines. Its key features include an 85-step stairway that leads to a carving of the Virgin Mary atop a tree, and a bell tower which was added in 1810. The power and simplicity of its geometric forms, and its location, make Sta Maria Church an outstanding example of Peripheral Baroque architecture.
Santa Maria Church Location
Sta. Maria Church is located at 4 Santa Maria – Burgos Rd, Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. You can check out this map to be guided when visiting the place.
Mass Schedule in Sta. Maria Church
As of writing, Sta. Maria Church in Ilocos Sur holds mass every day.
8AM – 6PM (Monday to Sunday)
Other Marian Churches in the Philippines
1. Sta. Maria Goretti Parish
Photo credits to Sta Maria Goretti Parish
Address: Pius XII Catholic Center, 1175 United Nations Ave, Paco, Manila, 1007 Metro Manila
Mass schedule: 8AM – 5PM (Tuesday to Sunday)
For more than three decades, Santa Maria Goretti Parish is one of the remarkable churches in Manila. It used to be part of the San Vicente de Paul Parish on San Marcelino Street. Sta Maria Goretti Parish was built to honor its patron saint St. Maria Goretti who has an interesting story.
She is revered as the patron saint of the modern youth. Born on October 16, 1890 in Italy, St. Maria was known for her deep faith, religiosity, forgiving heart, and great love for God. She was also hailed a martyr for her defense of the virtue of purity.
She died on July 6, 1902 after her neighbor, Alessandro Serenelli, tried to rape her and stabbed her to death. While in jail, Alessandro had a vision of St. Maria offering him flowers that eventually paved the way for his repentance and conversion. Alessandro then later became a priest. On June 24, 1950, Pope Pius XII canonized St. Maria making her one of the youngest to be canonized in the Roman Catholic Church. St. Maria’s mother and Alessandro were in attendance.
2. Sta. Maria Magdalena
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
Address: Bonifacio, Magdalena, Laguna
Mass schedule: 9AM – 4:30PM (Monday to Saturday); 6:30AM – 4:30PM (Sunday)
Sta Maria Magdalena, also known as Saint Mary Magdalene Parish, was established in the 1800s. This century-old church is a popular pilgrimage site especially during Holy Week in the Philippines for Visita Iglesia. And another interesting thing about Sta Maria Magdalena is that it’s usually a movie location.
3. Santa Maria Della Strada Parish Church
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
Address: Pansol Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, 1800 Metro Manila
Mass schedule: 7AM & 6PM (Monday to Saturday); 7AM, 9AM, 10:30AM, 4PM & 6PM (Sunday)
The history of Santa Maria Della Strada Parish Church started in the late 1070s when the churchgoers of the St. Joseph Church along Aurora Boulevard and the Ateneo Campus chapel had grown in numbers. Hence the birth of the idea of building a new parish because the needs of the huge area covering 14 barangays as well as that of a large transient student population from the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, Maryknoll (now Miriam College) and St. Bridget’s school had to be served.
According to the parish’s website, it was named Sta Maria Della Strada Parish or Our Lady of the Way because one of the parishioners, upon reading the biography of St. Ignatius of Loyola on his feast day, discovered a picture of Sta. Maria della Strada, at whose wayside shrine St. Ignatius used to stop and pray. Since the Jesuits had done so much for the community, it seemed fitting to name the parish in honor of Our Lady of the Way.
4. Sta. Maria Church Balibago
Photo credits to CFL-Immaculate Conception Parish-Balibago
Address: Sta. Maria Ave, Angeles, Pampanga
Mass schedule: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM (Tuesday to Friday)
Immaculate Conception Parish, also known as Sta. Maria Church Balibago, is located in Balibago, Angeles City, Pampanga. Upon arrival at the Santa Maria Church in Pampanga, you will be welcomed by a huge image of the Immaculate Conception. This church is a go-to pilgrimage site especially during the Holy Week in the Philippines.
Frequently Asked Questions About Santa Maria Church
Q: Where is Church of La Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion located?
A: The Church of La Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion also known as Sta Maria Church is located at 4 Santa Maria – Burgos Rd, Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur.
Q: What is the other name of Sta Maria Church in Ilocos Sur?
A: The other name of Sta Maria Church is Church of La Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion.
Q: How to get to Sta Maria Church in Ilocos Sur?
A: To reach Sta Maria Church from Manila, there are many bus lines that go directly to the Ilocos Province. You can either ride a bus from Pasay or Cubao and the travel time is about 9 hours. Alight at Vigan and upon arrival, you can rent a private transportation to tour you around or opt for tricycles or mini buses for a cheaper rate.
Q: Where is Santa Maria Magdalena parish church located?
A: Sta Maria Magdalena parish church is located in the town of Magdalena in Laguna.
Q: Where is Basilica of Santa Maria Novella located?
A: The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is located in Florence, Italy.
Q: Where can you find Santa Maria Della Pace?
A: You can find the Santa Maria Della Pace at Arco della Pace, 5, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.
Q: Where can you find the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore?
A: You can find the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore in Florence, Italy. If you know the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, it will remind you of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore.
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