The Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy located in the town proper of Novaliches along Quirino Hi-way, Sta. Monica in Quezon City, has a history to be proud of. Founded in 1856 by Padre Andres Martin as the Chapel of the Corpus Christi, it was elevated to the status of a parroquia (parish church) when Novaliches became a town.
On September 24, 1856, Padre Andres Martin, an Augustinian priest from Spain, was appointed by Archbishop Jose Aranguren of the Archdiocese of Manila as the first parish priest of the Parroquia de Novaliches. The parish church was dedicated in honor of Nuestra Senora de la Merced (Our Lady of Mercy). Padre Martin brought with him an image of Our Lady of Mercy, according to historical accounts, was holding the Child Jesus similar to the iconography of the image of Nuestra Senora de la Consolacion y Correa (Our Lady of Consolation and the Cord) of San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila.
During the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the Parroquia de Novaliches was burned. The Augustinian priests assigned to the parroquia returned to Spain. The parcel of land where the parroquia once stood was donated to the Archdiocese of Manila. In 1899, the township of Novaliches was declared under Caloocan.
For about thirty years, nothing was heard about the Parroquia de Novaliches. In 1928, it was given a new parish priest, Fr. Victor Reymundo. During this time, the image of Our Lady of Mercy of Padre Martin was never found. But during the time of Fr. Segundo Alto in the 1950s, an image of Our Lady of Mercy without the Child Jesus emerged. According to oral history, the same image in Fr. Alto’s time was believed to be first seen by Novaleños in the 1930s.
In preparation for the elevation of the church as a diocesan shrine, the last of the major renovations of the church started in 2001 through the initative of Fr. Miguelito Lagrimas and the concerted efforts of the Novaleños and devotees of Our Lady of Mercy. The Susano family commissioned master sculptor Wilfredo Layug of Betis, Pampanga to make a new retablo (altar) with a new rendition of Our Lady of Mercy in de tallado (fully carved) style. The new altar was consecrated on March 4, 2007.
On September 15, 2008, the parish church was proclaimed and elevated to the status of a diocesan shrine by Bishop Antonio Tobias. The first appointed Shrine Rector was Fr. Montecarlo Viloria. On its first anniversary as a diocesan shrine, the church was presented with an 18-bell carillon, a token of gratitude from the devotees of Our Lady of Mercy. The 18 carillon bells were blessed on September 8, 2009 and installed in the church’s belfry.
Fr. Monti was replaced by Fr. Antonio E. Labiao, Jr. as Parish Priest on June 2013. Rev. Hernando Batomalaque came with Fr. Tony as his Assistant. The feast day of the Parish is September 24.
Vicariate: Our Lady of Mercy
Parish Priest: Rev. Fr. Jose Peregrino V. Tomas
Preceding Pastor: Rev. Fr. Antonio E. Labiao, Jr.
Date Established: September 24, 1856
Feast Day: September 24
Address: Dumalay St. Corner Quirino H-way, Sta. Monica, Novaliches, 1123 Q.C.
Contact Number: 939.2811 (telefax), 938.1754