Friday, May 2, 2014

Danao Church and Prayer Offerings to Santo Tomas de Villanueva (Cebu Province)

Danao Church is a Spanish vintage church dedicated to Santo Tomas de Villanueva. It is made of blocks of corals and adorned with white-washed angels guarding the front. The Augustinian friars constructed it in 1671 making it 343 years old as of this writing!    

Now think of the many stories that have been whispered on the walls of a three-century church. Wouldn't you want a piece of these tales? The richness of time has made this church a historical landmark - and a common fixture - in Danao City, located some two hours north of Cebu City.

Surely, a church like this would have to suffer the ravages of time. Add a dash of World War II, and you would expect crumbling portions. 

The church was renovated in 1985 when Ramon Durano, the "Father of Danao", donated a sizable amount for the church's refurbishments. The dome of the church has the replica of a mitre, which symbolizes the parish’s patron, Santo Tomas de Villanueva, a Spanish friar of the order of St. Augustine. He was an archbishop of the Archdiocese of Valencia, Spain from 1544 to 1555.

St. Thomas was an ascetic, i.e. he abstained from various worldly pleasures to pursue his spiritual goals. He was likewise a religious writer and took care of the sick. He was in fact quite eloquent in his preachings especially in the churches of Salamanca. Despite lineage or ancestry, he was quite critical of the practice of bullfighting which he regarded as "brutal", and isn't it? He also scathingly attacked other erring priests. 

He was nominated to be Archbishop of his diocese which he refused several times - until his superior intervened. One time, when he couldn't provide financial help to the poor, he sold his straw bed! That's how dedicated he was to his vocation to help the needy. Very saintly, indeed.

This is the Eye in the Sky! 

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