Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

Facade of Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

The church of Dolores, Quezon was originally attached to the church of Tiaong and part of the bishopric of Nueva Caceres in Southern Luzon like the other towns of Tayabas (now Quezon) to as far away as Guinayangan in the south and Mauban in the eastern part of the province. In 1902 it had Fr. Rufino Cadiz as its first parish priest until 1904 when he was relieved by Fr. Basilio Rada. In 1905 he was again assigned to the parish where he stayed until 1916, ten years after the parish was formally separated from Tiaong and canonically erected in 1910.

The first church of Dolores was built through the labor of the natives of the place who even provided the materials used in building the structures consisting of stones, sand, lime and egg whites. During the Filipino-American war, this edifice was burned by the American Negroes who were brought to the town from Cainta, Rizal presumably to do the job of setting the church on fire and terrorize the people who were mostly insurgents as mentioned before. But the brick and stone walls of the church which were more than two feet thick survived the fire and are still standing today enclosing the present church. A former escribano (church secretary), then a young boy, used to sleep with the parish priest Fr. Balbino Caparas on the floor of the makeshift church that replaced the burnt one which had galvanized roofing but had walls of coconut leaves tied to wooden posts. There was once a picture of that structure but nobody thought it was worth preserving. Masses were celebrated on Fridays and Sundays. The image of the virgin was housed in the residence of Perpetua Luico Gaurano, an active church member, for safekeeping. It was brought to the temporary church every time there was a Eucharistic celebration.

Interior of Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows

The present church took many years in the making with each and every succeeding priest adding,, improving or renovating a part or parts of it. All was a labor of the live, piety and unity of the priests, parishioners and devotees of the Mother of God. The Dolores Parish Reconstruction Movement launched in 1967 during the term of the late Fr. Alfredo Cordero accelerated the pace of improvement of the physical setting and structures of the parish, adding to the comfort and pleasure of both parishioners and pilgrims who have both greatly increased in numbers through the years especially after the parish was proclaimed a Diocesan Shrine on April 10, 1994.

The Via Doloroza at the back of the church which depicts the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary in stained-glass panels framed in steel and scattered in a beautifully landscaped garden is something to behold like the big stained-glass windows surrounding the alter with pictures showing Mary's role as the mother of God and of the church.

People from all walks of life, often whole families, troop to the church to pay homage to the Lady of Sorrows, invoke her aid and ask for her intercession in dealing with life's problems. Evidently, the Lady of Sorrows has been answering the prayers of her devotees, consoling them and bringing them closer to her son, Jesus. There are numerous stories about her miraculous cures and powerful intervention all written in the people's book of life. Surely, the queen of heaven and earth, our hope and refuge in times of great need will never fail her people.

Excerpt from Shrines, Incarnating Christ Today. St. Paul Philippines, 2004. Photos from and

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