Sunday, October 2, 2016

Mary in the stained-glass windows of Santo Domingo Church

It's October in Quezon City! It used to be 'October in Manila!' in the fond memories of the late National Artist Nick Joaquin of the fiesta of the La Naval in Intramuros, the old Manila. 

The Santo Domingo Church rose again after the bombs of the so-called American liberation forces razed it to the ground, but not any more in Intramuros but in Quezon City. The new church was inaugurated in October 1954, and the La Naval was brought there in 1957.

The church has been declared a national cultural treasure in 2011 because it possesses a rich trove of religious, historical and cultural materials.

It is surrounded, for example, by large beautiful stained-glass windows designed by Galo Ocampo after returning from Rome. The Archbishop of Manila sent him there to design the windows for Santo Domingo and the Manila Cathedral. 

Among his designs were the fifteen windows depicting the old joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the rosary. Other windows are portraits of the leading saints of the Dominicans like those of St. Vicente Liem de la Paz and other martyrs in Indo-China, Japan and China.

We heard mass on the third day of the feast week of the La Naval (29 September to 09 October 2016), and our attention was focused on her image on the altar. After the mass, we focused on the stained-glass windows that feature Mary in white and blue. The triptych on the right side depicts the victory of the allied Christian forces against the Turks at Lepanto in 1571 (right side of the panel), and of the Spanish naval forces against the Dutch invaders in Philippines waters in 1652 (left side of the panel), both of which were attributed to Our Lady of the Rosary. 

The middle panel could be a rendition of the image of Our Lady in the side chapel of the Santo Domingo Church in Intramuros before the battle of Manila in 1945. A historical account says it had Saint Dominic and Saint Catalina de Siena kneeling before her image, and the former receiving a rosary. 

The names of the donors can be discerned at the bottom of the panels: Andres Soriano and family (battle of La Naval de Manila), [Asosacion?] de Honor de Maria (central panel), and Don Manuel [Elizalde?, name not very legible] (battle of Lepanto).

Large panel at the right side depicting the battles of La Naval de Manila and Lepanto.

Mary is featured in other windows: all of the five depictions of the joyful mysteries, two in the sorrowful, and three in the glorious mysteries.

As installed. the mysteries are in reverse sequence following one's movement from the entrance to the altar. Here, left to right, are (1) the Annunciation, (2) the Visitation, (3) the Nativity, (4) the Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple, and (5) the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

We were not able to discern the donors of the Annunciation and Nativity windows. The Visitation was donated by the UST Medica Association and MEDSCA, the Presentation of the Christ Child in the Temple was from the family of a 'vda. de Cacho' (first name not discernible), and the Finding of the Child Jesus came from Dr. and Mrs, Constantino P. Manahan,

Mary can be seen in the Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion in the Sorrowful Mysteries windows. The donors' names however were partly hidden and could not be discerned.

Mary in the Sorrowful Mysteries windows: the Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion.

The Glorious Mysteries are depicted in two individual windows (the Resurrection and the Ascension) and one large triptych comprising the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Coronation of the Blessed Mother.

Mary figures in these three mysteries:

Mary witnesses the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven.
The Ascension is on one side of the choir loft (right side if one is facing the main door), while the triptych is the back of the loft.

Mary in the Descent of Holy Spirit (right panel); her Coronation (left pane;), and her Assumption (center). 

One discerns the following as donors of the large window: Mr. and Mrs. Luz T. Engalla (coronation), the Vicente Madrigal family (assumption) and the Quezon family (descent of the Holy Spirit).

Facing this glorious window on the opposite side is the triptych depicting the martyrs of the Dominican order. In the chancel are six windows, three on each side of the altar, saints and martyrs honored by the Dominicans,

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