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Virgen de la Rosa de Macati

Nuestra Senora de la Rosa de Macati
Photo Source: FB/sampiro1620


In 1578 an inconspicuous ‘visita’ served as the seat for the introduction of the Catholic faith and doctrine to the families who formed the early community along the banks of the Pasig River in a place referred to as ‘Macati.’ The Franciscans, having established their mission house in Sta. Ana de Sapa of which Makati was then a village, faithfully tended to the spiritual needs of the natives for 42 years.

Besides being tutored in God’s love and the brotherhood of men, an ardent devotion to the Mother of God was inculcated early in them during the mass celebrated every Saturday and sung will all solemnity in her honor. Owing to the ‘encomienda’ system of the Spanish crown, the land which comprised Macati became the sole ownership of Capitán Pedro de Brito, a retired aide to the Spanish army Chief. In 1608, Capitán de Brito, who was then elected Álferez General of Manila, and his wife Ana de Herrera executed an instrument of foundation whereby one-half of their landholdings in Makati were bequeathed to the Society of Jesus.

One of the conditions of this bequest was the establishment of a novitiate and church on a hill named Buenavista and that they were to be placed under the patronage of Saint Peter. Since the income from the foundation financed the construction of the church and novitiate, progress was slow. But by 1620 the church, which was named San Pedro Macati, was completed with Rev. Fr. Pedro Montés as its builder.

“Your most holy image of NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA ROSA has on her breast a most precious treasure, greater than those which Tharsis had in his opulence, or Ophir with his most valuable metals can offer. This is a strand of hair of her most holy head, whose authenticity I read with great admiration. In the vast extent of the Indies that I know of, there exists no similar reliquary…”

Rosas ng Sampiro


He further expressed the sentiments of his heart before the loveliness of this Lady, mentioning that he considered it a singular fortune, his being appointed chaplain of the church of San Pedro Macati. In 1856, seven years after death of Fr. Murillo Velarde, the first novena prayers of the Virgen de la Rosa was printed in Tagalog under the guidance of Fr. Mariano Sta. Ana Marcial who was once the parish priest of the Manila Cathedral. The Flores de Mayo was also begun in her honor. And in gratefulness to the Virgin who they believed to have interceded for favors for her devout parishioners, they honor her every June 30. Thus the town fiesta became a two-day affair, June 29 being the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Due to political unrest during the Philippine revolution in 1899, the head and hands of the image, which were in ivory, were stolen and the reliquary also disappeared, which up to the present time has not been recovered nor its whereabouts known. These parts have since been replaced by wooden repli￾cas. The reliquary however may be lost forever. The original body of the image is still intact and an oval cavity where the reliquary had been placed may be found on its breast.

Baile del los Arcos


The parishioners of Sts. Peter and Paul continue to honor her every June 30 with the traditional ‘Baile de los Arcos’ still being practiced and is known to residents as the “Panatang Sayaw.” This devotion is truly unique to this locality and to the Virgen de la Rosa and Sts. Peter and Paul and that is should be considered as the dance of Makati. The Saturday novena prayers to her have also continued up to the present.The devotion to the Virgen de la Rosa remains and continues to be revered by the parishioners.

To propagate the devotion to her, Cofradía de Virgen de la Rosa was established in 2007. Its establishment is to enhance the devotion to her, keeping its importance to the history and culture of Makati.

In 2018, the Parish community celebrated their 300th year of the arrival of the Virgen de la Rosa and the 400th year of the Parish Church as an edifice of faith and as a community of believers in year 2020.



A Primer on “The Sts. Peter and Paul Parish and the Virgen de la Rosa” Sts. Peter and Paul Parish and was published in the PCNE V Program Book

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