On February 2, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Purification of Virgin Mary and the Presentation of the Child Jesus at the Temple which is also known as the Candlemas. The Purification and Presentation at the temple is the last of the Nativity feasts.
Traditionally, when a woman first rose from child birth, the first place she was supposed to go to, with her new born, was the church. According to Nick Joaquin, Manila mothers in the olden days favored the Malate Church for this rite.
The devotion to the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies) made the church of Malate famous particularly to the women who have gave birth during that year. Joaquin described the scene in Malate Church on Saturdays when the “women pilgrims carrying babies were assailed on all sides by sellers of candles and toys.”
The image of the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios was brought to the Philippines by Fr. Juan de Guevara from Andalucia, Spain in 1624. The image was said to be very miraculous. It was described to “had a graceful feature” and “was white as ivory.”
The Malate Church was originally built on the same spot where it stood up to this day by 16th century Augustinians. The convent and church were turned into headquarters by British soldiers when they landed on the shores of Malate in 1762.
The church is predominantly Baroque in design. Fr. Pedro Galende describes the façade of the church as blends of Muslim and Baroque architecture. “The solid, compact, dark stone structure is enhanced by cylindrical end buttresses, a few openings and over all ornateness of design.”