History

The image of our Lord of Peace and Good Voyage, which has become the Patron Saint of Barrio Antipolo was originally brought to Manila by Don Juan de Tabora on board on the ship “Almerante” which set sail on March 25,1826 from Mexico. It was said that this ship had weathered many storms during its voyage. A small fire also broke near the hold of the ship. Though the walls ever scorched the hold however did not explode. This miracle and success and the safety of the passengers were attributed to the loving care and protection of the Blessed Virgin, who is the advocate of travellers and seafarers.

The ship must have been wrecked after its arrival in Manila because the image was washed ashore on the southern coast of Catanduanes. It was found tied to a piece of wood bound at the foot of an “ Antipolo tree “. Since then she was called “Our Lady of Antipolo “, and the Sitio on the shore of which the image was found became the Barrio of Antipolo.

A small hut was built to house the image near the “Antipolo tree”. A plan was made later to transfer the Blessed Virgin to the church in Virac. It has been told from generation to generation that every time the image was removed for its site, it got lost; only to be found again among the branches of the “Antipolo tree”. The people firmly believed that the Blessed Virgin wished to remain in the Barrio as long as the people love Her and seek Her loving care and guidance.

Several times in the past the image was brought to the churches of the neighbouring towns of Bato and Baras for short visit which were celebrated with much rejoicing. Processions and manifestations of religious favors were held in Her honor. Each time she was always received with great affections and piety by the humble folks of Antipolo upon Her return.

The feast story of the Virgin of Antipolo used to be movable feast celebrated on the first week of May. It was fixed on May 7 only a few decades ago. Since then, the fiesta has become a time for pilgrimage to Antipolo by people from the neighboring towns to pay homage to the Blessed Virgin of Antipolo for her unending affection and guidance. Many people would say that in their journey in this World, in their daily aspiration the Lady of Antipolo has always served as a beacon of continuing front of light and love.