when people say “Jaro Cathedral” many don’t realize that this is not just a “cathedral” and neither is it just Jaro . . . .
The Jaro Cathedral is . . .
When the whole Visayan Islands were still under the Diocese of Cebu, Jaro was already a parish supervised by the Augustinian Friars. In 1865 the Augustinian Friars gave the parish to the diocesan clergy in exchange for San Jose Placer and the Parish of Lapaz, for Jaro was chosen as the seat of the new diocese, the Diocese of Jaro. Thus, it became a Cathedral Church but retained its status as the Parish of Our Lady of Candles.
As a Parish it is comprised of 22 barangays in the districts of Jaro and Mandurriao. It has a population of 53,243, of which 90% are Catholics.
Beginning 1865, the Church of the Parish of our Lady of Candles came to be known also as the seat of the Diocese of Jaro, the primary Church of the Diocese. Since St. Elizabeth of Hungary was named as the patroness of the new diocese, this church came to be known also as the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Cathedral. With its elevation to an Archdiocese in 1951 it came to be known as the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Metropolitan Cathedral.
As a Cathedral it is comprised of two civil provinces namely, Iloilo and Guimaras with an area of 5,304 sq. km.; it is comprised of 89 parishes, 1 quasi-parish and 2 chaplaincies in in 14 vicariates. It has a population of 2,333,141 people, 2,125,446 are Catholics. It is manned by 185 diocesan priests,57 religious priests and 580 women religious. As a Metropolitan Cathedral it has four suffragan dioceses, namely: Antique, Bacolod, Kabankalan and San Carlos.
a national shrine
But this is a place that cannot be owned solely by the parishioners of Jaro or members of an archdiocese. After all she who presides here is patroness of Western Visayas and is venerated by many from all over the Philippines. This is her shrine, the home of the Candelaria, referred to by many as Mother.