Iglesia de San Miguel is named after the mighty archangel Saint Michael. The church is a small eighteenth-century temple that evolved from a sixteenth-century chapel.
Iglesia de San Miguel
The first mention of this church was in 1650. It was first constructed entirely of straw and in 1740 the temple was built with solid materials by order the Royal Treasurer of the Colony, Don Miguel de Pasamonte. At this time it was one of the richest chapels in the city.
Destroyed By Earthquake
The building was almost entirely destroyed in the big earthquake in 1751, as were many of the buildings in Colonial Zone. The Iglesia was entirely rebuilt in 1765 in a bad attempt at Baroque style. It was used as a parish during the construction boom of this era.
Home of Black Brotherhoods
The church ended up being located in “the black section” of town. In 1784 the building was to be a hospital for slaves. The decree was never followed and it never happened. Then, in 1796, it was decreed that San Miguel be called the Código Negro Carolino, the home of all the black brotherhoods. These African slaves and blacks who lived in this sector chose the warrior figure because they saw in the Archangel San Miguel a figure that would defend them from the white demons.
Arcángel San Miguel
With his sword held high, the image of Arcángel San Miguel located in the front of the church is impressive. This wood carving is thought to be from the late seventeenth century and belonged to the old hermitage. Archangel Saint Michael is the Angel who defends the people against Satan and is the prince of all the heavenly armies. The leader of God’s chosen army, he is the guardian angel and the protector of the Catholic Church.
Fiestas Patronales de la República Dominicana / Celebrations of the Patron Saints of Dominican Republic
Patronales/ Patron Saints. Every town and village in Dominican Republic has it’s own patron saint. Each town has a celebration for their saint. These celebrations usually cover an entire weekend or more with a party, music and just getting together of the inhabitants of the town in the local park or gathering area. It is a time of sharing with the neighbors and another excuse for having a party. Not that Dominicans need an excuse to have a party or a good time.
Here is a list of Patron Saints and different celebrations and what town celebrates that saint. The dates are a general reference and can change year to year depending on the dates the government sets. Try to visit a town during their celebrations. You will be so happy you did, even if you are not Catholic.
Enero / Janurary
1. Santo Cristo de los Milagros of Bayaguana – ofrenda de los toros/ The Offering of the bulls (More information about this tradition go to our page on Town Traditions)
21. Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia o Virgen de la Altagracia. Celebrated in San José de Ocoa, Monte Plata, Villa Altagracia, Paraiso y los bajos de Haina. More information on Altagracia
Febrero / February
2 Virgen de la Candelaria patron saint of San Carlos, in Santo Domingo and Sabana Grande de Boyá.
11 Nuestra Señora de Lourdes patron saint of Peralta in Azua
16 San Elías Barón del Cementerio/ The Barron of the Cemetery.
Marzo / March
3 y 4 San Benito de Palermo celebrated in Guayabal, a providence of Azua
4 y 5 Procesión Romana-Higüey a procession to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey,starting at the Obelisco in La Romana
8 Miércoles de Ceniza/ Ash Wednesday
17 Damballah is symbolized by un arco iris/ Rainbow
19 San José this saint is celebrated in the towns of Restauración in Dajabón, Río Grande in Puerto Plata, Villa Vásquez in Prov. Montecristi, San José de las Matas in Prov. Dajabón, Yamasá in Prov. Monte Plata, El Valle in Sabana de la Mar. In Azua this patron saint is celebrated with carnival like festivities.
Abril / April
8 Amancia Pérez patron saint of Pueblo Arriba, Baní. This is the death of this saint who was the keeper of the San Juan Bautista en la Cofradía/ Saint John the Baptist in the Brotherhood
14 y 15 La Dolorita patron saint of Los Morenos, Villa Mella. She is a saint who bestows miracles and helps the people. It is celebrated by hundresd with salves, atabales, rezos y cantos/dance, prayers and song.(to learn more about salves, atables and afro dominican music)
Mayo / May
1 San José Obrero celebrated in Villa Jaragua in Prov. Bahoruco and Ensanche Ozama in Santo Domingo
3 San Felipe Apostol patron saint of Puerto Plata.
13 Nuestra Señora de Fátima celebrated in Villa Sinda in Prov. Montecristi, Galván in Prov. Bahoruco, Arenoso in Prov. Duarte and Hondo Valle in Prov. Samaná.
15 San Isidro el Labrador celebrated in Castillo in Prov. Duarte, Luperón in Puerto Plata, Las Caobas in Santiago Rodríguez, CLavelLina y Uvilla in Prov. Bahoruco, EL Llano in Elías Piña, Santé y La Enea in Prov. La Altagracia.
21 Espíritu Santo celebrated in Cotuí and many of the rural communities throughout Dominican Republic. (Here is a little information on this music)
18(?) Santa Rita de Casia celebrated in Juan Barón a Prov.of San Cristóbal, Sabana Perdida in Santo Domingo
30 San Fernando Rey patron saint of Montecristi.
Junio / June
11 San Bernabé patron saint of Villa Mella.
13 San Antonio de Padua patron saint of Bonao in Prov. Monseñor Nouel, Guerra in Prov. Monte Plata, La Victoria in Santo Domingo, Villa Rivas in Prov. Duarte, Monción in Prov. Santiago Rodríguez, Miches in Prov. El Seibo
22 Corazón de María patron saint of Chaquey Abajo in Cotuí
29 San Pedro y San Pablo patron saint of San Pedro de Macorís; Las Salinas in Prov. Barahona, El Cercado in Prov. San Juan de la Maguana, Fundación de Peravia in Prov.Peravia.
30 San Pablo Apóstol patron saint celebration in Villa González
Septiembre / September
7 Nuestra Señora de los Remedios patron saint of Azua, Cabral in Barahona, El Limón in Jimaní, Naranjo in San Juan de la Maguana
14 Exaltación de la Santísima Cruz patron saint of Mao in Valverde
29 San Miguel Arcángel / St. Michael, the Archangel is the patron saint of the Dominican armed forces. He is the Captain of the Celestial Legions. Combating the devil he leads the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. Celebrated in the Santo Domingo town of San Miguel at the Iglesia San Miguel. History of the important Festival San Miguel.
Octubre / October
1 San Francisco patron saint of Bánica
4 Nuestra Señora del Rosario patron saint of Barahona
12 Nuestra Señora del Pilar patron saint of Sabana de la Mar and Cevicos.
14 Santa Rosa de Jesús patron saint of Elías Piña.
15 Santa Teresa de Avila patron saint of Comendador in Elías Piña
24 San Rafael patron saint of Boca Chica, Capotillo, Palma Herrada y los 21 in Moca, San Rafael del Yuma, Tamboril, Estancia Vieja in Santiago Rodríguez, Villa Tapia y Quita Sueño in Cotuí, Guayacanes in Valeverde
29 San Judas Tadeo patron saint of Escondido in Baní
Noviembre / November
1 Todos los Santos patron saint of Maguana in San Juan de la Maguana
21 Nuestra Señora de Regla patron saint of Baní
Diciembre / December
5 Santa Bárbara patron saint of Samaná
8 Inmaculada Concepción patron saint of Cotuí, Monte Grande in Dajabón, Estancia Nueva in Moca, Sombrero in Baní, Oviedo in Pedernales, Ramón Santana in San Pedro de Macorís
13 Santa Lucía patron saint of Las Matas de Farfán and El Peñón in Barahona
18 Virgen del Amparo patron saint of Polo in Barahona and Esperanza in Valverde
Iglesia y Convento Regina Angelorum / Church and Convent of Regina Angelorum
Iglesia y Convento Regina Angelorum is the first building made exclusively for the Dominican nuns (monjas dominicanas). When six nuns arrived in 1560 the Convent of Santa Clara was the only convent in the city that belonged to the Franciscan sisters. They needed another convent in which to live. They had this convent built.
The original convent and place of worship for these six Dominican nuns was nothing more than a plain room. By 1567 they had begun construction on a more appropriate temple on land donated by Maria de Arana.
The nuns of Regina Angelrum had to emigrate to Havana, Cuba, because of the Treaty of Basel in December 1795. In 1820 the surviving nuns returned to Hispaniola. Then, in 1866, President Cabral turned the building over to Father Billini (his remains are located in the church).
Padre Billini started the School San Luis de Gonzaga in this location. Later, the convent was reconstructed and turned into an institute for the ladies of Salomé Ureña. The first female poets in the New World, Leonor de Ovando and Elvira de Mendoza, once lived here. Since 1916 the Mercedarias nuns have occupied the building.
The original structure was replaced with the building that is there now. This newer temple had its foundation laid in 1714. It was completed in 1722.
The Iglesia and Convento Regina Angelorum is one of the best preserved churches in the city. It is also one of the most beautiful with its 17th century Gothic style vaults and ornamentation. Inside this beautiful church near one of its alters is a wall of silver. The altar was made by Pedro Roldán and Francisco Dionisio de Ribas in 1668.
Did You Know?
*The definition of the Latin words Regina Angelorum is Queen of Angels. A longer phrase is Opus Sanctorum Angelorum in English means Work of the Holy Angels.
*When the French invaded Santo Domingo in 1810 the convent was taken and used as a barracks for the troops.
*Different times throughout the history of the building is has been used as a hat factory, a warehouse and a tenement house.
*In the late 1500’s Sir Francis Drake looted the church and removed a valuable golden statue that was embedded with costly jewels.
Monday thru Saturday 9AM to 6PM. To enter you must have permission from the nuns that reside within.
From Calle el Conde turn south onto Calle José Reyes. Walk 2 blocks to Calle Padre Billini.
All You Want To Know About The Oldest City In The Americas