San Agustin chapels and the Sacristy

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There are more than a dozen chapels inside the church of San Agustin with altars from various periods and architectural styles (baroque and neoclassical) with dedicatees varying over time depending on their patrons and changes done by the friars.

Above, the chapels located at the far ends of the transept both gospel and epistle sides:

Chapel of Sta. Rita of Cascia (far end, gospel side) – said to be the chapel which changed dedicatees the most. Previously, it was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, then to St. Ursula, the Santo Cristo de Burgos and finally to the present saint. Several distinguished officials and their families during the colonial period are buried in this chapel.

Chapel of Sto. Nino (gospel side) – the retablo, together with the one at the Chapel of the Our Lady of Consolation were made in 1854. The image is a replica of the Sto. Nino de Cebu but previously, it held another Sto. Nino image with head and hands of ivory now displayed in the museum.

Chapel of Our Lady of Consolation (epistle side) – this chapel is dedicated to the patroness of the Augustinians. The image with heads and hands made of ivory dates from about 1777 may have been replacements of an earlier image that probably were looted by the British during their invasion of Manila. It also is the resting place of several members of the Basque community in Manila during the colonial period.

Altar of Relics (disappeared) – this altar located across the Chapel of the Our Lady of Consolation was said to have different relics of saints for veneration. These include complete skeletons of the martyrs St. Clement and St. Prospero, a small cape of San Carlos Borromeo and pieces of bones from Sto. Tomas de Villanueva and even of St. Augustine. Because these were enclosed in silver and precious wood containers, were all stolen by the British. The altar disappeared around 1875.

Sacristy chapel The sacristy used to be a chapel dedicated to various saints over a period of time. First it was St. John the Baptist then followed St. William the Hermit. Captain Juan de Argumedo purchased this chapel for his final resting place around 1609.

The retablo is a magnificent work similar to the other retablo formerly placed in the Chapel of Legazpi. It may have been done in 1725. In 1965, this chapel was converted into a sacristy and the frontal was moved to the antecoro.

Retablo frontal

Frontal detail Above, exquisite carvings on the frontal that used to be found in the sacristy, formerly a chapel between the antesacristia (now part of the museum) and the presbytery. It is now located at the antecoro just under the baroque retablo that was placed in the Chapel of Legazpi.

Note the floral motifs, sun, moon, saints, , angels, emblem and symbols of the Augustinian order.

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  1. Pingback: Carcar Church’s neoclassic retablo mayor | Simbahan

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