Our Lady Of Loreto Church, Sampaloc, Manila
Image: Our Lady of Loreto Church (circa 1924).
Before the parish of Balic-balic was established in 1925, the residents of Balic-balic were under the spiritual care of the parish priest of Our Lady of Loreto Parish of Sampaloc, Manila.
The convent of Loreto in Sampaloc was founded in the year 1613 by the Franciscan Provincial, Fray Blas de la Madre de Dios, as an alternative to the residence of the Franciscan friars living in San Francisco del Monte.
The Maestre de Campo, Don Pedro de Chavez and his wife. Dona Ana de Vera, ceded the land in Sampaloc to the Franciscans and donated to the construction of the convent and the church. Soon after, the residents of Sampaloc requested the City of Manila to separate Sampaloc from the spiritual jurisdiction of Santa Ana de Sapa. Thus, in the year, 1616, the Parish church of Nuestra Senora de Loreto was dedicated and Fray Augustin de Tordesillas assigned as the first parish priest. The church was burned down during the Chinese uprising of 1639 but was rebuilt by Fr. Andres Puertollano. Fr. Francisco Catarina enlarged the church around 1660. Around 1880, a terrible earthquake rocked Manila and damaged the church and convento. Fr. Pedro de Alcantara Flores del Pozo initiated the renovation and Fr. Ramon Caviedas (builder of the Sampaloc cemetery in Balic-balic) completed the job. The last recorded Franciscan priest assigned to Sampaloc was Fr. Pedro Flores Alcantara (1898).