Basilica Minore of our Lady of Charity, Agoo


The Franciscan priests Fr. Juan Baptista Lucarrelli and Fr. Sebastian Baeza established Agoo in 1578 when it was still a part of Pangasinan. The Augustinians later took over the mission in 1598. Agoo was named after a river whose banks were lush with pine-like trees called agoo. The churches and convents of Agoo had the misfortune of always being razed by fire and one of these was said to be the best in the whole of Ilocos. Fr. Saturnino Franco (OSA) later restored one burned down church --- probably the one built at a place called Nagrugcan --- and also had a new convent built. In 1887, Fr. Casimiro Melgosa (OSA) had a bell tower built. These structures were heavily damaged in the earthquake of 1892 and were repaired under the supervision of Fr. Aquilino Garcia (OSA) in 1893. The image of Our Lady of Charity was crowned in this church in 1971. The church was later demolished in 1975 to give way for the construction of the present bigger church. The bell tower, the only remaining original structure, crashed during the earthquake of 1989. The church was elevated as a basilica minor in 1982 by Pope John Paul II.