From 13-16 January 2015, the Ignatian Youth Camp participants celebrated the Bi-Centennial Anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus. They went on a pilgrimage to Jesuit churches in the province of Cavite. They wanted to get a glimpse of the missionary activities of the Jesuits before the Suppression.
This is one of the churches they visited: The Church of Mary Magdalene, Kawit, Cavite.
The Jesuits first came to Kawit in 1624. They built a wooden church in 1638 and dedicated it to the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene. With the help of six families from Silang and Maragondon, they set the cornerstone of this church in 1737. But a storm destroyed the roof in 1831.
When the Jesuits were suppressed, the church went to the wings of the secular clergy in 1768 and the Recoletos priests in 1849. This is where the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, General Emilio Aguinaldo, was baptized in 1869.
Note to the pilgrim: While you’re in Kawit, you might as well take a short segue to the house of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. It is a short distance from this church. When you get here (see photo below), don’t miss the balcony facing the road. It is the balcony where Gen. Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. It is also here that the Philippine flag made by Doña Marcela Marino de Agoncillo was unfurled while the band of San Francisco de Malabon played the Marcha Nacional Filipina (Philippine National Anthem) composed by Julian Felipe. Gen. Aguinaldo is also buried here.
Next stop: Parish of Our Lady of Candelaria, Silang, Cavite.
If you want to check out other pilgrimage sites of Pre-Suppression Jesuit Churches, click the links below.