Ermita Church

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The Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guidance, also known as Ermita Shrine or Ermita Church (Spanish: La Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Guía) is a shrine located in the district of Ermita in the city of Manila, Philippines. The church is home to the Marian image of the Immaculate Concepcion known as Nuestra Señora de Guía, which is considered to be oldest in the Philippines, and in whose honor the church is officially named after and dedicated to.[1][2]


The church began as a rustic shrine made of bamboo, nipa, and molave wood that was built to house the image of Our Lady of Guidance in the area where it was found in 1571 by Spanish soldiers under Miguel López de Legazpi. The shrine eventually became a chapel built in 1606 as house for the image and was called La Ermita ("The Chapel" in English).[3] The word also gave the name to the present district in Manila where the chapel is located.

The church was damaged many times due to earthquakes. In addition, the image had to be transferred to the Manila Cathedral for safekeeping during the British occupation of Manila in 1762–1764. A more permanent stone church was built in 1810; the image was returned to the church in 1918.[2]

In 1945 near the end of World War II, the church was reduced to rubble during the Battle of Manila. However, the image was saved from destruction and was temporarily kept in a private residence.[4] Work began for the reconstruction of the church in 1947 with a new design by architect Carlos A. Santos-Viola.[5] By 1953, the reconstruction was completed and the image was returned to the new church.

On December 3, 2005, Manila Archbishop Most Rev. Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Template:Post-nominals elevated the status of this church to an archdiocesan shrine.[6]



  1. About Ermita Church. Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guia.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nuestra Señora de Guia, Ermita, Manila.
  3. "ermita". Retrieved on 2015-01-12.
  4. DeAnda (2009-11-22). "In Honor of Nuestra Señora de Guia". With one's past... Retrieved on 2014-01-12.
  5. Malate – Ermita District: Part 3 (July 21, 2013).
  6. Darang, Josephine (May 15, 2011). Ermita celebrates 440 years of devotion to La Guia.