Kung may isang lugar sa Meycauayan na pinaka-paborito ko, ito ang simbahan ng Parokya ni San Francisco ng Asisi. Hindi naman dahil lang sa Catholic ako. I guess loving this place is innate for people na mahilig sa history. Plus, maganda naman talaga yung lugar, kahit hindi na ito yung original na itsura talaga. It exudes a different appeal. Sanctuary talaga, especially for us na dito nagse-serve.
For a short history, pakibasa:
It was in 1578 when Christianity first dawned in Meycauayan. Two of the first Franciscans who had arrived in the country, Fray Juan de Plasencia and Fray Diego de Oropeza, had come to the eastern part of the town called Sitio Toril (now included in Brgy. Bahay Pari).Years later, after a strong typhoon had destroyed the small chapel, the center of Christianity for Meycauayan was moved to Lagolo (also called Simbahang Bato, now referred to as Simbahang Luma in Malhacan).On November 25, 1667, R. P. Fr. Nicolas Santiago arrived in Meycauayan and he noticed the increasing number of residents near the river. During that time, rivers are important means of trade and commerce, and most social and government institutions are ought to be situated close to it. So in year 1668, the said Franciscan ordered the construction of a simple building to give home to the new church. It was made up of adobe stones with a very strong foundation.As time passed by, the church was improved through the combined efforts of its officials and the people of Meycauayan. Additions and renovations were done during the years that passed.The bell tower was constructed on 1800 under the new parish priest, R. P. Fr. Francisco de San Miguel y Gascueña. He was also the one who had ordered the creation of the bell, Señor San Jose.Since then, the parish church of St. Francis of Assisi in Meycauayan had been hailed as one of the most grandiose and most exquisite churches in this part of the province. The admiration was furthered on 1851 after R. P. Fr. Benito de Madridejos o del Rosario had ordered the construction of a new (and immensely beautiful) altar and retablo. The retablo featured the image of the Holy Trinity and the statues of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic de Guzman, Archangel Miguel, Blessed Virgin May, St. Clare of Assisi, and St. Peter de Alcantara.A lot of things happened since then, including the Great Fire in the early 1950’s which destroyed most of this magnificence. However, faith prevailed and through the (once again) combined efforts of the church officials, and the people of Meycauayan, the church has been brought to its usual glory…Better, even.*All information stated above are taken from S. Francisco de Asis : Kasaysayan ng Buhay Pananampalataya ng Meycauayan. (Ronaldo N. Dionisio, 2008)