The Jaro Cathedral (Filipino: Ang Katedral ng Jaro) in Iloilo was builtin 1874 under the management of KGG. Mariano Cuartero, O.P., the firstbishop of Jaro. It was destroyed by anearthquake in January 1948. It waslater repaired in 1956 by the order of KGG. Jose Ma. Cuenco, the firstarchbishop of Jaro. On December 20, 1856, Graciano López Jaena (1856 – 1896), aFilipino journalist, orator, and revolutionary from Iloilo, well known for hiswritten work, La Solidaridad, was baptized in this cathedral. Now, the Jaro Cathedral is also known as the Nuestra Señora de laCadelaria (Our Lady of Candles). Notably, Pope John Paul VI conducted amass in 1982 and set a crown upon the Lady of the Candles, and declared itas the Western Visayas’ Patroness. The statue is carrying a child in her lefthand and a lighted candle on the other. It is believed that the lady ofcandles brings protection and divine illumination to one’s path if the personasks for her help.
Fronting theJaro Church is thebelfry, situated in theJaro Park. It ispreserved by thegovernment officialsto give thepresent, new andcoming generations aglimpse of the past.This bell towerhistorically served asa lookout from searaiders
Every February 2, the centuries-old image of theNuestra Señora de la Candelaria is the main focus of annualJaro Fiesta. The image is placed in the façade of the churchand one can reach the niche through a staircase about 32steps in each side. Before entering the Jaro Cathedral, amonument of Jesus Christ and a monument of MotherMary, both inaugurated in February 1925 can be seen. Theexterior’s thick and sturdy walls probably made from limestones and the solid pillars inside the church makes thechurch tough and strong against several earthquakes andtyphoons. An image of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of OpusDei and “The Saint of Ordinary Life” can be seen inside thechurch. Statues of different saints placed in the pillars andthe centuries-oldchandeliers are some of the features of thechurch’s interiors. In 1976, the National Historical Institute proclaimed theJaro Cathedral as a historical landmark.
Interior of Jaro Church Nuestra Senora de la CandelariaStaircase going to the Statue of the lady of Candles