Sunday, April 7, 2013

Binondo Church

It was Chinese New Year...

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...and I suddenly had the urge to go to the center of Chinese culture in the country...none other than Binondo's Chinatown! However as I am always on assignment in search of religious art, I did not let this moment pass...

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Binondo Church is also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz , who was believed to have served this church and afterwards went as a missionary to Japan where he was executed with other companions for refusing to renounce the Catholic faith. In 1987, he was canonized and became the Filipino's first saint.

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San Lorenzo Ruiz, was a father and a layman. He is recognized as the first Filipino Saint and Martyr. A large statue of the martyr stands in front of the church, in Plaza Calderón de La Barca

"That I shall never do, because I am a Christian and I shall die for God, and for Him I will give many thousands of lives if I had them. And so do with me as you will please."

Prayer to San Lorenzo Ruiz 

O most merciful and almighty God,
You bestowed as gift to Lorenzo Ruiz
The strength to withstand
The overpowering forces of death
For the sake of his faith in You.

Through his prayers,
Help us to follow his example
By overcoming all life’s trials
And eventually, increase
Our hope and love in You.

O St. Lorenzo Ruiz,
You brought honor to your country,
Having been a level-headed
And prudent father of the family,
A witness of Christ in your life
Until your death.

We present all our petitions
To God through your help
So that by our actions,
We may know more and love more
Jesus our Lord and Savior.

We humbly implore
Your intercession O dear St. Lorenzo,
For the infinite glory of God
And in honor of your triumph
As a martyr of Christ
And defender of Christianity.


The Church Patron Images

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From L-R: San Lorenzo Ruiz, Sto. Cristo de Longos and Our Lady of the Rosary of Binondo

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Sto. Cristo de Longos, a miraculous crucifix dating back to the 1500's. Read more at Venerable Hermandad del Sto. Cristo de Longos (a beautiful highly informative website).

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you, asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall, good Jesus, the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have counted all my bones!"

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This church was founded by Dominican priests in 1596 thus it is no wonder why an image of Our Lady of the Rosary is enthroned in the main altar. The church is also known as Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

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The altar of Our Lady of the Rosary; Bottom-left: the image of Our Lady of Lourdes enthroned in the main altar as well in commemoration of the Marian Feast; and the altar of St. Joseph.

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Our Lady of the Rosary in her Altar

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An artist interpretation of the Old Binondo Church, unfortunately fate was unkind to the Church having been destroyed and rebuilt a couple of times.

Church Interior

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Upon entering the Church: the left side is the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, the right side is a prayer area.

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Inside the church...

Paint the Sky

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Paintings envelope the interior of the Church from entrance to the main altar...

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Huge paintings adorn the ceiling although these are not original work...I somehow felt these were printed on tarpaulin. I wish they restored the original paintings or recreated the original paintings based on existing record (if there was any)...not like this....and somehow I felt it is too's chopseuy art that is more distracting than contributing to a contemplative atmosphere.

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More paintings on the side...

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Left photo, mixing Catholic devotion with Chinese accepted practices; middle, choir stage; right: more painted art (on glass)...

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A view of the expanse of this Church

Collection of Religious Images

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Name the Saint photo on the left is a bonus!

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San Josemaria Escriva, a Roman Catholic priest from Spain who founded Opus Dei, an organization of laypeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. He was canonized in 2002 by Pope John Paul II.

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In and out...the church in the middle of Binondo's hustle and bustle

Meanwhile...another Miraculous Cross a few meters away...

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A small shrine housing a gold plated cross invites devotees and tourists alike. They say you need to drop by this cross to pay respect and for good luck whenever in Binondo.

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Chinese Catholicism inside and outside Binondo Church. Right: Incense sticks instead of candles

Delicious @ Delicious

After a lot of sight seeing and toasting under the hot sun...time for a much deserved feast at Delicious. Good food with huge huge serving...sulit!

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