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PARISH CHURCH OF NUESTRA SENORA DE LA PORTERIA

IT'S SYMBOLISM

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IT'S SYMBOLISM
STAFF, ORGANIZATIONS May 7, 2005 to present
ANNOUNCEMENT

Hand in hand with the architectural beauty goes such as wealth of symbolism characteristic of the late Baroque style that can be overlooked easily by the common observer.

            The most outstanding, course, are the four round medallions in the middle of the columns with the images of the four evangelists (Matthew, John, Luke and Mark) carved out of volcanic stones.  Engraved on the base of the columns are the Popes tiara with the keys, the five wounds or stigmata of St. Francis, the coat of arms of the Franciscan order and the royal crown. Entwining round the columns is cluster of grapes, symbols of the Eucharist.

            Round the arches of the three doors there is engraved an inscription in Latin that reads:  Bene fundata est domus Domini supra firmam petram  (Well founded is the house of the Lord on firm rock).

            On top of the arch of the main door the symbols of the three theological virtues can be seen, carved out of the stone: a lady with an anchor for hope, a blind-folded lady for faith, and another with several children for charity.  At the foot of the symbol of faith, as it were the keystone of the arch, there is a pelican breast-feeding her chickssymbol of the Eucharist also.

            Right on top of the two smaller doors, there are enthroned in a niche the statues of St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist.

            At the very center of the fašade, flanked by six small salomonica columns there is prominently enshrined in a niche the medallion of our Lady of the Gate.  On its top, there is a large size statue of the Immaculate Conception flanked by six statues of Franciscan Saints: Paschal Bailon, Clare, Anthony of Padua, Francis of Asisi and Peter of Alcantara.  One statue cannot be identified since it has been lost with the passage of time.

            The belfry by the fašade is built in octagonal form because that is the traditional shape of the baptistery that lies at its base.  Outside engraved on the sides of the six angles, one can see the images of the twelve apostles starting with Peter and Paul, James and John and followed by all others, each one holding the instrument of his respective martyrdom.

            The side facing the Mt. Mayon was built muck like the fašade.  One can find salomonica columns with the medallions of St. Peter and St.Paul, the slain Lamb holding a victory bannera symbol of the central mystery of our salvation:  Christs death and resurrection.  The top of the arch has an inscription in Latin that reads  Ecce Agnus Dei  (Behold the Lamb of the God), and as the main feature, the statue of Mary the Queen is enshrined in a niche.

            Inside the church, at the end of the presbiterio, near the cross section there stand two columns similar to those in the fašade, the only thing that were found worth preserving in the interior.  One can see on them the medallions of two Franciscans, St. Bonaventure and probably, St. Louis IX, King of France.

CHURCH ALTAR
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CHURCH FACADE
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CONSERVATION & RESTORATION UPDATE

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