Sta. Quiteria

I remember years ago when a grade school teacher narrated in class the legend of a headless saint whose image can be found in Caloocan City. I retold the story to my parents. Curious as I am, we drove all the way to the barangay named after the decapitated image of a martyred saint –Sta. Quiteria.

Although little is known about Sta. Quiteria whose feast day is celebrated every 22nd of May, the story of her martyrdom has inspired the Catholic church to include her in the list of saints.

Quiteria was a daughter of a Galician prince. Her father forced her to marry a Roman military officer and worship Roman gods. Refusing to denounce her Christian faith, she fled. However, her father’s men captured her in Gascony, France where she was beheaded on the spot.

Miraculously, her body rose up and grabbed her head. With her head on her hand, she climbed up a mountain and stopped where she wanted to be buried. This explains the image we now see in St. Francis de Assisi and Sta. Quiteria Parish Caloocan City.

One popular miracle attributed to Sta. Quiteria is when held two rabid dogs at bay with the power of her saintly voice. Thus, she became patroness against rabies and is depicted in religious iconography with a dog next to her decapitated image.


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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello! i wenr to Sta. Quiteria Church yesterday, it was my first time to visit this church, i was shocked and amazed when i saw this Sta. Quiteria image, due to my curiosity up i ask someone who’s a staff of the church, “why is she holding her head?”, then she told me a little bit of Sta. Quiterias story, and some lady told me that this Saint is miraculous, im a devoted of St. Clare in Katipunan and Divine Mercy of Bulacan, and im opening myself also to be a “deboto” of Sta. Quiteria.. can i ask, is she really can grant anything your heart desires???

  2. pagnakita mo matatakot ka pero di mo pla alam na mabait at maka diyos pla sia

  3. My name Quiterio was found in the almanac by my parents with same birth month and day ( May 22 ). Accidentally, I happened to pass by at the Sta. Quiteria Church at Baesa, Caloocan City that made me wonder why this saint is carrying her head. So, I asked from the Parish clerk if they could tell me something about Sta. Quiteria. And she gave me a thin mini booklet measuring two inches in width and three inches in length about the life story of Sta. Quiteria. As I read the story, I was more surprised that her name was Quiteria Castillo of Portugal. While my name is Quiterio Castilla, meaning that our first name is the same, a male name is Quiterio and her female name Quiteria, while my family name is a female Castilla and the saints family name is a male Castillo. .Since then on; I carefully researched about the legend of Sta. Quiteria and has just ended today my researched as I read this post. What ever my conclusion on my research is very scandalous to believed how Jesus works ended in a disastrous drama of his ressurection issues.

  4. hello there to all!
    I am designated as the Parish Researcher/Historian in preparation for the 35th Anniversary of the parish in Sep 11, 2014. I am looking for testimonies by parishioners even before it became a parish in 1979, particularly if there are stories on how the devotion/image of Sta. Quiteria went to Caloocan from Europe. The findings will become part of the official document of our parish for future generations. Please share to me whatever stories you know. You can contact me in my FB.

    • Am glad to know that we shall be having an official researched material about the patron saint of our parish. Perhaps, you can also add supplementary materials like Fernando Poe’s film “Ang Kampana ng Sta. Quiteria,” an action movie, a blockbuster in 1979, to get the interest of readers. Good luck to the writer of this project.

  5. The story tell us about love, and no body can force us to marry the one we do not love.,! even in fact beheaded in the end.,!

  6. Mahalaga sa atin yun kaya dapat lagi tayung mag simba pumunta lang kau sa sta.quiteria parish…
    sa caloocan

    love ka ni bro!

  7. i was once named as Uliran ng Kabataan way back ’71-72, at Sta. Quiteria Parish under Fr. De Guzman.. i’d like to reach all my friends way back. Marissa Rosero pls. add me on FB

  8. hello po sa lahat taga sta. quiteria po ako at sa ngayon d2 po ako sa dubai pero eto at patuloy na namamanata sa kanya tunay na sya ay mapaghimala

  9. wow grabe ng nakita ko toh napaka saya ko kc etong santo na toh ang matagal na pinapahanp sa lolo ko at ngayon na kita ko na pupunta ako sa simbahan nya kinalibutan ako ng na kta ko toh!!

  10. i’m glad that a lot of people are so interested in my own patron saint. i was born and grew up in sta. quiteria and during my younger days, served the parish as a member of the choir. i seldom visit my headless saint now.

  11. does anyone know where i can get a good taditional painting of the headless saint? im going to have in enlarged and framed so i can pay homage and devotion to this saint. any clear pictures would do

    • taga sta. quiteria po ako… kung gs2 nyo mlaman iba pang info d2 s patron saint namin add nyo n;ng po ako s facebook just typ joven rigo….. katatapos lng ng fiesta d2 samin nitong may 22

      • Do you happen to know the old choir member led by a pianist name Liza …this was way back in the 80’s …. Pls let me know

  12. guys you must beleive… before my father died my mom had a dream and that was SA. QUITERIA… it was a prucision while my father is next to her hoding a lighted candle going to my mom… My father died after 2 mos… And until now I just didn’t know what does it mean… what supposed to conclude.. We went there and found out yhat it was totally WEird!!

  13. ever dearest friends.u have to believe it. I grew up in that peaceful and beautiful fact i served the parish of sta.Quiteria as a knight of the altar which they called.during my earlier age.A lot of devoties saying,when sta.Quiteria appears in ur dream u have to offer her a beautiful gown.So in return a very beautiful blessing as well. Good day to all GOD bless

  14. parang nakakatokot. i was in paranaque the other day to deliver the balaanong bahandi book and dropped by san dionisio chapel. na bigla ako na ang saint na nasa pediment is headless pala 🙂

    • I did nt know na merong ding headless saint sa prnque. We’ll check it out.

  15. Kamusta ka kaibigan?

    if we find this strange [I certainly did] just imagine how non-catholics would feel when they see an image like this 🙂

    Catholicism is very much embedded in culture & history. whether we like it or not. It is what it is.

    • I’m good nold. Thank you.

  16. I was not familiar with Sta. Quiteria. interesting story ! Well researched as usual !

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