San Agustin presbitery

altar mayor At the far end of the church interior is the presbitery where one can find the altar mayor or main altar. It is made of carara marble and was installed in 1934 which replaced the original made of wood.

The huge retablo just behind it catches the eye. Its top is crowned by the image of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove with Saint Augustin at the lower center dressed in white robes flanked by two angels. The grand niche contains the statue of St. Paul (done in 1928, the original was made of wood), the church’s titular patron.crucifix

In 1970 and in line with Vatican II, a 1770 crucifix was placed in this central niche. This image of the crucified Christ has jointed shoulders and may have been used in the Lenten activities. The statue of St. Paul was put back in 1993 and the crucifix placed at the narthex.

The tabernacle, including the lower panels of the retablo and front of the altar are all done in hammered silver depicting rosettes and other floral motifs as well as medalions with symbols of the Augustinian order.

hammered silver

This retablo mayor was installed in 1854 and was done in the neoclassical style which was fashionable during that time. There were two previous main retablos: the first, installed in 1617 was transferred to what is now the Antigua Sacristia since it was considered as not inline with the design of the church.

The second, commissioned in 1618 for 3,500 pesos and installed on 1628 was heavily damaged during the Brtish Invasion of 1762 – 63 when they occupied and looted the church.

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