Sunday, February 28, 2010

INOPACAN PARISH CHURCH

Inopacan Parish Church (San Isidro Labrador Parish Church) – [San Roque Street, Poblacion, Inopacan, Leyte ] *(n.) Before the establishment of the municipality of Inopa can on December 06, 1892, a Catholic church was already built in this place but no priest was assigned to stay here. Later on, after founding the township of Inopacan, a Cura Párroco was assigned and the church was further developed.
But the church and its convent was destroyed by the invading Japanese forces in World War II (1945). The church was rebuilt after the war. Until now, its second bell tower remained unfinished as manifested by the steel bars that are still protruding upward. The finished tower on the other side of the church has a bell that produces a dull clang due to the big crack on its lip.

*The patron saint of Inopacan is San Isidro Labrador (St. Isidore the Laborer, a.k.a St. Isidore the Farmer) because the source of living in this town is largely from farming. A feast is celebrated every May 15 in honor to this Patron Saint. A legend was told by the Spanish missionaries that in Madrid, Spain there was a man named Isidro who was a tenant to Señor Vargas, a rich landlord in Madrid. Every m orning, instead of going directly to his farm like what the other tenants were doing, Isidro would hear mass first and offer his morning prayers to the Lord. In the afternoon, he would go home before six o’clock so that he could pray the Angelus together with his family. The neighbors began calling Isidro as lazy. They told the landlord that Isidro always came late to the field and that only a small portion of his farm had been cultivated. Angered, Señor Vargas confronted the saintly farmer one day and shouted “Isidro, you are lazy, deceitful man! You have never rendered a day’s work in the farm! You go there when the sun is already up and you go home when the sun is still up!” Isidro remained silent, not even a word of excuse or defense. Then, he bowed meekly his head and promised that he would plow the field and finish it in time for planting. Señor Vargas did not take Isidro’s promise seriously. One day, Señor Vargas went to Isidro’s farm to see if the farmer indeed kept his promise. To his great astonishment, Señor Vargas saw the field almost finished! He was filled with an immeasurable amazement upon seeing the four angels plowing the field! Then on another occasion, the master saw angels plowing along on both sides of Isidro that made Isidro’s work to equal that of three of his fellow laborers. Awed and humbled, Señor Vargas knelt before the saint and begged for forgiveness.

*Historians wrote that Isidro was born some time in 1070 near Madrid. He got married to Maria Torribia (who also became a canonized saint, and was venerated in Spain as Maria dela Cabeza, from the fact that her cabeza (head) is often carried in procession in time of drought). Is was told that their son fell into a deep well and at prayers of Isidro and of his wife Maria, the water in the well miraculously rose up to the ground’s surface level that brought the boy up alive and was easily taken out. Afterwards, Isidro and his wife made a bow of continence and obliged themselves to live in separate houses. Their son however died in his youth. Isidro died on May 15, 1130 in his place of birth. Forty years after his death, Isidro’s remains was transferred from cemetery to the church of Saint Andrew. It was told that his apparition was seen by Alfonso of Castile (Spain) wherein the saint showed the hidden path that surprised the Moors. Because of Isidore’s guidance, Alfonso won the war of Las Nevas de Tolosa in 1212. It was King Philip III of Spain who replaced the old reliquary (the case containing the relics) with one that is made of precious silver. It was the king’s way of showing his gratitude that after he touched the relics, he was cured from a dreadful disease. Isidro’s sainthood was canonized by Gregory XV on March 12, 1622 along with other saints: Ignacious, Francis Xavier, Teresa, and Philip Neri. The cities of Madrid, Leon, Zaragoza and Seville, all in Spain, honor San Isidro (Saint Isidore) as their patron saint.
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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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