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Mass recalls Manila Cathedral reconstruction

Surviving wars and earthquakes, the Intramuros icon has been rebuilt seven times. —RICHARD A. REYES

The Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, will mark the 60th anniversary of its post-war construction today, which is also the feast day of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is presiding over a Mass for the double celebration at noon. Formally known as the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the church was established and first administered as a parish, “a simple structure of nipa and bamboo,” according to Church-run Radio Veritas.

It was destroyed in a fire that razed the city of Manila in 1583, prompting the first reconstruction of the church.

“Over the last four centuries, the Manila Cathedral was destroyed by wars and earthquakes seven times. From 1954 until 1958, the present cathedral was constructed under Rufino Jiao Cardinal Santos with the supervision of the notable Filipino architect Fernando H. Ocampo,” it added. —Tina G. Santos

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