Folk tradition has it that the Blessed Mother showed herself to a middle aged farmer and gave him the message on where she wanted her church to be built.
She appeared to him on a tree amidst the glow of heavenly light. Manaoag is known as a pilgrimage town, and even considered as the pilgrim center of the North.
Everyday, but especially on Saturdays and Sundays, the whole year round thousands of people flock to this town to celebrate Mass, pray the Rosary, offer flowers and light candles at the Shrine. Pilgrimages reach their peak during the Lenten and Easter seasons, during the months of May and October and on the feast of the Holy Rosary.
The center of devotion is the image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, otherwise known as Nuestra Señora de Manaoag or plainly called Apo Baket by the townsfolk. The image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag which is ivory, is enshrined in the main altar of the Church. It is several centuries old and is said to be miraculous.
Before the arrival of the Dominicans, the Augustinian missionaries erected a “Visita” at Santa Monica, (the former name of Manaoag), which they ministered from Lingayen. As early as 1600 the Augustinians had built a modest chapel in the place where the Catholic cemetery of Manaoag is now located. The chapel was turned over to the Dominicans in 1605 and was served by Dominican priests from Mangaldan. In fact the first Dominican priest to work in Manaoag mission was Fr. Juan de San Jacinto, O.P. who was the curate of Mangaldan.
It was not until 1608 that the Mangaldan mission was formally accepted by the Provincial Chapter of the Dominican Order. In 1610, Fr. Tomas Jimenez, O.P. took over the mission as the first resident priest. Due to the numerous threats of Igorot raids from the nearby mountains, the community was transferred to the present site on a hill. The Dominican started to build a large church in 1701 under the sponsorship of Gaspar de Gamboa and his wife Agata Yangta, wealthy residents from Manila who transferred to Lingayen. An expansion of the church began in 1882, but was stopped by the earthquake of 1892. The whole church with its treasures was destroyed by the fire set by the revolutionaries in May 1898. The miraculous image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag was spared from the fire. It was found abandoned behind the church, and from June to October had to be kept in Dagupan for safety.
Invited by Fr. Mariano Pacis, a diocesan parish priest of Manaoag, the Dominicans returned in 1901. Under the aegis of the Order, the church’s expansion that began in 1882 was finally completed to a large extent in the year 1911-1912. The central “retablo” (altar of the Virgin) was constructed by the famed Tampinco studio in Manila. The transept (the arms of the church) was completed in 1931-1932.
The Dominicians ceded all their Pangasinan missions to the “mitre” (i.e to the diocesan clergy), with the exception of Manaoag. Spiritual administration of the Shrine in perpetuity was given to the Dominican Order by the Holy See in 1925. The image was canonically crowned in 1926. The Catholic Church, through the Holy See, officially recognized and proclaimed that Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag had granted favors and blessings to the devotees through the centuries. The old convent now houses Colegio de San Juan de Letran – Manaoag, formerly Holy Rosary Academy founded in 1946 by Fr. Teodulo Cajigal, O.P., the last Spanish Dominican in Manaoag. Since December 8, 1972, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag has been the under care of the Philippine Dominican Province.
On October 11, 2014, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag was declared as Minor Basilica by His Holiness Pope Francis. The Solemn Proclamation Mass was held on February 1, 2015. On December 23, 2015 the National Museum of the National Culture Treasure. It was indeed another milestone for the Basilica. The formal unveiling ceremony of its marker was held on February 14, 2018.
On October 11, 2014, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag was declared a Minor Basilica by His Holiness Pope Francis. The Solemn Proclamation Mass was held on February 17, 2015. On December 23, 2015, the National Museum of the Philippines declared the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag as a National Cultural Treasure. It was indeed another milestone for the Basilica. The formal unveiling ceremony of its marker was held on February 17, 2018.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
MISSION AND VISION
Priory of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag
We, the Dominican Brethen of the Priory of Our Lady of the Rosary, Manaoag, Pangasinan placing ourselves under the loving protection and wise guidance of Our Lady of the Rosary, strive incarnate in our community Christ the Preacher, Son of God and Son of Mary, whom we proclaim to the world, in the powerful preaching of the Good News, in the pluriform prayers in the Church, and in compassionate pastoral administration and care towards a renewed and integral evangelization of and by the pilgrim people of God.
In fulfillment of this vision, we commit ourselves:
- To foster a deep spirituality which is Christocentic, and at the same time Marian, in our Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag.
- To engage in a pastoral ministry that is nourished by sound, biblical and doctrinal preaching, renewed liturgical celebrations and the administering of the sacraments through our Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in line with the pastoral mission of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
- To live as a nourishing community of formation for the Dominican Novitiate of the Annunciation;
- To promote the values and mission of the Dominican Family through the spiritual direction and collaboration of the Dominican Sisters and Laity in our areas of ministry and responsibility.
- To evangelize thru educational apostolate by means of administration, chaplain and teaching at Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manaoag.
From Our Lady's Mantle
In Dominican religious art, Mary is depicted either as handling the Rosary to Saint Dominic or as Mary, Queen of Preachers, spreading her motherly mantle wide over all the saints of the Order of Preaching Friars. While it is impossible to say that any religious order loves Mary the most, each of the great religious orders honors Our Lady in a way fitting with its charism. The Dominicans are specially known for popularizing that quintessential Marian prayer, the Rosary.
“Whatever you ask through the Rosary shall be granted”: this was the initial promise of Our Lady to St. Dominic who died in 1221, was the founder of the Order of Preachers or Dominicans. Tradition holds that the Blessed Mother herself asked St. Dominic to propagate the devotion as an antidote for heresy and sin. And tradition has it that Dominicans are kept in “her loving mantle”.
The Filipino proto-martyr, Lorenzo was born in Binondo, Manila and as a young man he became a member of the Rosary Confraternity. Implicated in a crime of nuclear circumstances, he left his wife and children and set sail for Okinawa in 1636 together with other Dominican Missionaries. Arrested they were brought to Nagasaki where they underwent hideous torments for their Christian faith, giving up their souls to God on September 28, 1637
Born in Spain in 1350, he received the Dominican Habit at the age of seventeen. In his turbulent epoch, he was an angle of peace, preaching the word of God with special stress on penance and the last judgement. He was outstanding for the gift of prophecy, worked astonishing miracles and brought back thousands to the practice their faith.
Born in 1170 in Old Castille Spain, he became a priest with thoughts of missionary work in North Europe. But when he saw the dangers in the Albigensian heresy. He lived and preached in evangelical poverty, gathered others around him and founded the Order of Preachers (also known as Dominicans). Dominic labored in France, Spain, and Italy. Consumed by work and penance, he died on August 06, 1221.
Today’s humble saint, son of a while Spanish father and a black Panamanian mother, was born in Lima, Peru in 1579.As a boy he learned the art of healing. As a Dominican he served as an infirmarian, healed the illness of the poor and also of animals. He led a life of profound prayer, penance and extraordinary spiritual gifts. He is the patron of the poor and sick.
The 23rd child of hard-working parents, she was born in Siena, Italy in 1347. She showed early signs of unusual sanctity, joined the third Order of the Dominicans and became a spiritual guide to many. She influenced public affairs and encouraged the Pope to leave Avignon in 1377 and returned to the Rome. She dictated spiritual writings, died in 1380, and was declared doctor of the Church 1970.
The husband of the Blessed Mother. Known as the patron Saint of the Universal Catholic Church the foster father of Jesus Christ.
The first saint of the America, she was born in Lima, Peru in 1586. An intelligent and efficient woman, she took St. Catherine of Siena as her model. At 15, she received the habit of the Third Order of Dominican. In obedience to her parents, she did not enter the Convent but lived at home a humble life of penance and mystical prayer.
Also known as the Polish St. Dominic, he was born of the noble family of Odrowatz. He performed astounding miracles and cures. On every occasion of his life, our Lady was to lighten the load form him, and as a last flavor, she appeared to tell him that he would die on Feast of Assumption.
This great Dominican teacher lived only for 49 years (1225-1274). But he traveled much, from his birthplace at Aquino in central Italy to Cologne, to Paris, to Rome and to the monastery near Naples where he died. Thomas prayed much and dedicated his brilliant talents investigating the sublime truth of God in the light of faith and the human intellect. Canonized in 1323, he is the patron of all Catholic schools and is titled “the Angelic Doctor.”
Of royal patronage, she was offered to God before her birth in 1242 in petition that her country would be delivered from the Tartar invasions. In fulfillment of the vow, she spent her childhood in the monastery. Shortly after when her parents obtained papal dispensation for her to marry the king of Bohemia, she refused and said: I esteem infinitely more the King of Heaven…. than the crowd offered me by the king of Bohemia.
Born of heretical parents in Verona in 1206. At age 15, he met St. Dominic in Bologna and begged admission to the Order. He soon became a celebrated preacher and engaged in disputes with the heretics all over Northern Italy. Enraged, his enemies ambushed and killed him on the road to Milan. In his own blood, he wrote: Credo in unum Deum. He is the first Dominican Martyr.
The first Vietnamese Dominican martyr, he was born in Tra’ Lu in 1732. He received the Dominican habit in Manila and studied at the Colegio De San Juan de Letran Intramuros and University of Sto. Tomas in Manila. Already a priest, he asked to return to his land to work among his people, he labored for 14 years until he was captured and martyred on November 7, 1773.
A Spaniard born in 1175, he became a priest and professor of philosophy and cannon law. A co-founder of the Order of the Redemption of Captives, he studied Arabic and the Koran so as to dialogue with Muslims. He died a centenarian on January 6, 1275 and was declared a saint in 1601.
A cooperator-brother like St. Martin, he was born in Ribera, Spain in 1585. Embracing the Dominican way of life in 1623, he became a porter and set about at once serving the poor who came to the priory gate for alms. He is distinguished for his great devotion to the rosary and untiring supplications for the souls in purgatory.
She was born in 1268 and embraced the religious life at an early age. Because of her precious wisdom and sanctity, she became superior of her community at the age of 15. Later she founded a monastery of Dominican Nuns in Montepulciano and became its first prioress. She died in 1317 at age 49 and was canonized in 1726.