Rector and Parish Priest
N.S Amoranto corner Kanlaon Street, Quezon City, Philippines
Eleven Capuchin missionaries from Spain arrived in Manila on 13 May 1886. They stayed with the Franciscans at Intramuros. Six of the friars left while the remaining five continued to provide the spiritual needs of the area until they built the first Capuchin house in Gen. Luna Street in Intramuros, Manila, opening it to the public on 8 May 1892.
Father Berardo de Cieza, OFMCap., the Capuchin Superior, requested a Filipino sculptor named Manuel Flores, to carve a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1892.
Because of the growing number of devotees, Fr. De Cieza asked the same sculptor to make a second bigger and more beautiful image, this time with the guidance of Father Antonio of Valencia, OFMCap.in 1894. The enlargement of the chapel began in September 1897 through the help of generous donors. The architect was Federico Soler. At this time, the Titular of the Capuchin church in Intramuros was still La Divina Pastora.
While construction was ongoing, the Spanish-American war started, threatening Manila with bombardment on May 1, 1898. While waiting for the 24-hour deadline for the Spanish authorities to surrender the City of Manila to the Americans, “Father Superior – Fr. Alfonso Ma. De Morentin, OFMCap., – prostrated before the venerated image of Lourdes. And in the name of the whole Capuchin community gathered there for the pious exercise for the flowers of May promised solemnly to the Virgin of Lourdes to dedicate to her the new church that they were building if she would save the house and the City of Manila from the terrible destruction of the announced bombing.” Through Divine Providence, the bombardment did not happen and peace was restored.
The construction of the church continued. On September 22, 1898, the Archbishop gave permission to bless the church. On September 24, 1898, the church was solemnly inaugurated as the first church in the Philippines dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.
From the church of the Capuchins in Intramuros, the devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes spread throughout the Philippines. The amazingly rapid spread of the devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes soon forced the Capuchins to plan and build a bigger and more beautiful church dedicated to Our Lady. Fr. Alfonso Morentin was granted permission to extend and embellish the church. On February 3, 1910, this church which was funded completely with alms donated by the numerous devotees of Our Lady of Lourdes was inaugurated by Archbishop Jeremiah James Harty of Manila.
The outbreak of the Second World War was a severe test to the devotion and to the devotees of Our Lady. In February 1945, the church and the convent of the Capuchins in Intramuros were completely destroyed. But the venerated image of Our Lady of Lourdes was saved from this devastation. The Capuchin friars were able to bring the image to San Agustin Church for safekeeping. Fr. Bienvenido de Arbeiza, the new Capuchin Superior was able to get the image and brought it to the UST chapel, and was later moved to the Sta. Teresita Chapel on Mayon Street in Quezon City.
The Capuchins were able to obtain official authorization from the government on 9 February 1946 to restore the church of Lourdes but decided to build a bigger church on a 10,500 square meter lot located in Retiro Street, Quezon City. The construction of the new church started on 30 January 1950 by Engineer Marquez under the supervision of Father Bienvenido of Arbeiza.
On 10 February 1951, the image of Our Lady of Lourdes was transferred to the new church in a huge and solemn procession from the Sta. Teresita Chapel presided by Archbishop Olano and was attended by thousands of devotees.
The church was inaugurated on 15 August 1951, by the Archbishop of Manila, Monsignor Gabriel Reyes who officiated at the mass.
On February 3, 1987, the church was declared an Archdiocesan Shrine by the Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin.
On 24 January 1997, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines declared the church as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
On August 14, 2021, the Solemn Rites of the Dedication of the Altar and Church took place. The Mass Presider was The Most Reverend Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D. of the Diocese of Cubao.
On August 15, 2021, was the 70th Jubilee and Opening of the Jubilee Door. The Mass Presider was The Most Reverend Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D., of the Diocese of Cubao.
On August 22, 2021, was the first anniversary of the Canonical Coronation of the Venerated Image of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Mass Presider was The Most Reverend Charles John Brown, D.D. Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.
NSOLL has also been assigned as the Confirmation Church for the Vicariate of San Pedro Bautista.