4434187-San_Luis_de_Gonzaga_Church_San_LuisSan Luis town was originally called Cabagsa or Cabagsac, a contraction of “cabag” (fruit bats) and “bagsac”, hence a place where fruit bats come to roost. To honor the memory of one of its cura, Fray Nicolas de Orduno, it was later known as San Nicolas de Cabagsa. The eventual name—San Luis—is attributed to Dna. Luisa, wife of a lawyer who acted as a counsel in claiming a parcel of land disputed by neighboring Santa Ana (then Pinpin) town. The town was named after San Luis Gonzaga (St. Aloysius Gonzaga, 1568-1591), the blue-blooded Jesuit saint who died young at age 23. The town fiesta is celebrated on June 19.
3043836171_8ce2b3ed0e_oThe first recorded missionary to serve the town was Fr. Jose Echevarria, who was assigned as a prior in 1742. No information exists as to when the church was built, but it must have been completed in the late 18th century. In 1883, the church was restored by Fr. Isidro Bernardo, which then had the following dimensions: 56 meters long, 13 meters wide and 11 meters high. The church convent was expanded by Fr. Francisco Diaz in 1877.
Today, San Luis Church is one of the few churches in the province that retains its old-world authenticity, even after assiduous restorations, one as recent as 1984 done on the retablo mayor, undertaken by Fr. Jacobo David. The façade is heavily stone-laden, with spiraling stone buttresses and symmetrical twin belfries with marked Baroque influences. The historian Mariano A. Henson recorded the existence of 4 bells, inscribed with the names of Nstra. Snra, de la Correa (dated 1859), San Juan Evangelista (dated 1789) and San Jose (dated 1843). The fourth bell dates from June 1939.

 

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