Jaro Cathedral and Belfry

The Jaro Cathedral (Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary) was built in 1864, the year the district was named a diocese by Pope Pius the IX, by order of His Grace Mariano Cuartero, first bishop of Jaro. Destroyed in the quake of January 1948 and restored by order of His Excellency Jose Ma. Cuenco, first archbishop of Jaro in 1956. The cathedral’s style is basically Baroque, with the addition of Gothic elements over many renovations.

Jaro church

The Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria (Lady of the Candles) is the only rose among the all-male collection of statues which line the walls of the cathedral’s interiors. The Lady of Candles is perched on a glass encased shrine carved out of the facade. The limestone is said to be continuously growing, and in fact had become too large to fit into its original niche just above the present one.

Her shrine is visited often by many devotees who believe the statue to be miraculous. This 400-year-old image is the focus of an annual Jaro Fiesta held every February 2.

The Jaro Cathedral is the first and only cathedral in Panay built in 1864. Baptized here was Graciano Lopez Jaena, patriot and orator, in December 20, 1856.

A high point in the history of the cathedral was the visit of Blessed Pope John Paul II, who conducted a mass on February 21, 1981. He set a crown upon the Lady of the Candles, and declared it the Patroness of the Western Visayas.

Jaro church

Jaro church