Our Lady of Abandoned Church Santa Ana, Manila 1578

The original name of Santa Ana before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors was Namayan, a small settlement that was ruled by Lakan Tagkan, and his wife Buwan (meaning Moon). The Muslim kingdom’s domain stretched from what is now Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, and the Manila districts of Pandacan and Paco.

The Spaniards established settlements in Santa Ana, that served as the seat of Namayan, the area was awarded to the Franciscan missionaries. When the Catholic missionaries asked the natives the name of the area, pointing to the banks of the Pasig River, the locals responded with "sapa" or the Tagalog word for marshes.

The Franciscan missionaries henceforth dedicated the district to Saint Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and called it, "Santa Ana de Sapa", or Saint Anne of the Marshes. The Church of Santa Ana stands on the site of the first Franciscan mission establidhed outside Manila in 1578.

 The church was built under the supervision of Fr. Vicente Ingles, OFM. The cornerstone of the present church was laid on September 12, 1720 by Francisco dela Cuesta, then Archbishop of Manila and Acting Governor General of the Philippines.

On October 1966, the inner patio and surrounding areas of this centuries-old church were excavated by the archaeologist team of the National Museum headed by Doctor Robert Fox. The project yielded rich materials on pre-Spanish Manila. The oldest artifact found in the inner patio of Santa Ana Church dates back to the late 11th century A.D. – a beautiful blue and white Chinese bowl with floral designs. The rest are potteries and Chinese artifacts which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries A.D.

 

church

The Church of Santa Ana stands on the site of the first Franciscan mission establidhed outside Manila in 1578.  The church was built under the supervision of Fr. Vicente Ingles, OFM. The  cornerstone of the present church was laid on September 12, 1720 by Francisco dela Cuesta, then Archbishop of Manila and Acting Governor General of the Philippines.

in the early 1700s, Father Vicente went to Valencia, Spain. The friar had been very enamored of a famous image of Our Lady that had become a big spiritual attraction in Valencia. The image is now known as “Our Lady of the Abandoned” (in Spanish, Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados). But there is quite a story behind the image—a story that began in Valencia centuries earlier.

The first title given to this image of Mary was “Our Lady of the Innocents.” The devotion to Our Lady was linked with a most innocent, yet shunned, group of humans, known in that era as “the insane.” But the title was also applied to similar “unfortunates” seeking Our Lady’s protection: people despised, forsaken and abandoned by society—even prisoners condemned to the gallows. Although other titles were given to Mary, the one that eventually became permanent was “Our Lady of the Abandoned.”

While Father Vicente was in Valencia, he decided to have a copy made of this image—venerated in Valencia with so much devotion—for Santa Ana Parish, which was in the process of being constructed near Manila. After reverently touching the copy to the original, the friar brought the new art piece with him to the Philippines in 1717. The image has been venerated in Santa Ana for almost 300 years. In time, the parish became known as Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, as it is today. But St. Ann, the original patron of the parish, has not been forgotten. Today, a statue of St. Ann with the child Mary at her side still stands in a niche directly above the exquisite image of Our Lady of the Abandoned that Father Vicente brought from Valencia.

On October 1966, the inner patio and surrounding areas of this centuries-old church were excavated by the archaeologist team of the National Museum headed by Doctor Robert Fox.  The  project yielded rich materials on pre-Spanish Manila.  The oldest artifact found in the inner patio of Santa Ana Church dates back to the late 11th century A.D. – a beautiful blue and white Chinese bowl with floral designs.  The rest are potteries and Chinese artifacts which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries A.D.

The first title given to this image of Mary was “Our Lady of the Innocents.” The devotion to Our Lady was linked with a most innocent, yet shunned, group of humans, known in that era as “the insane.” But the title was also applied to similar “unfortunates” seeking Our Lady’s protection: people despised, forsaken and abandoned by society—even prisoners condemned to the gallows. Although other titles were given to Mary, the one that eventually became permanent was “Our Lady of the Abandoned.”

While Father Vicente was in Valencia, he decided to have a copy made of this image—venerated in Valencia with so much devotion—for Santa Ana Parish, which was in the process of being constructed near Manila. After reverently touching the copy to the original, the friar brought the new art piece with him to the Philippines in 1717. The image has been venerated in Santa Ana for almost 300 years. In time, the parish became known as Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, as it is today. But St. Ann, the original patron of the parish, has not been forgotten. Today, a statue of St. Ann with the child Mary at her side still stands in a niche directly above the exquisite image of Our Lady of the Abandoned that Father Vicente brought from Valencia.

On October 1966, the inner patio and surrounding areas of this centuries-old church were excavated by the archaeologist team of the National Museum headed by Doctor Robert Fox.  The  project yielded rich materials on pre-Spanish Manila.  The oldest artifact found in the inner patio of Santa Ana Church dates back to the late 11th century A.D. – a beautiful blue and white Chinese bowl with floral designs.  The rest are potteries and Chinese artifacts which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries A.D.

From the cover story: The Philamlife Magazine – vol. xv.#2. March-April 1967 issue.

 

Pre-Spanish Manila Through Archeology

THE SANTA ANA EXCAVATION. THESE WERE TAKEN FROM " THE PHILAMLIFE MAGAZINE VOL. XV. NO.2.MARCH - APRIL 1967, PAGES 4-11

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