St. Augustine Parish Church of Bantay is one of the oldest churches of Ilocos Sur, built in 1590 with Fr. Montoya OSA as the parish priest. It was named after St. Augustine, the Patron Saint by the Augustinian Friars. The church was damaged during the World War II, but it was reconstructed in 1950. The restored facade is of neo-gothic design mixed with pseudo-Romanesque elements. The site of the church has the scene of fighting during the uprising led by Diego Silang in 1763.
According to our ancestors, the image of Our Lady of Charity was found by some fisherman placed in a wooden box floating on Bantaoay River. People from other towns and provinces came to take the image but could not be moved and only people from Bantay were able to carry the miraculous image. "Our Lady of Charity" was the name given to the image due to the many miracles interceeding her numerous devotees.
St. Augustine Parish Church became a Shrine of Our Lady of Charity on January 12, 1956 when the Miraculous image of Our Lady was crowned as the patroness of Ilocandia by The Most Revered Msgr. Vagnozzi, the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines.
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