The Reducto de San Francisco Javier in Fort Santiago is a redoubt (outer defensive structure) built in 1773 to strengthen the Baluartillo de San Francisco Javier. In 1983, the site was converted into the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, a chapel that honors the aforementioned title for the Virgin Mary. Today, the Reducto is recognized as a National Historical Monument in 1951 and as a National Cultural Treasure in 2014.
The Reducto de San Francisco Javier‘s namesake is Saint Francis Xavier. He has travelled through India, Southeast Asia, and Japan in pursuit of his missionary activities and is one of the founding companions of the Society of Jesus, together with St. Ignatius of Loyola. Today, there are several schools named after St. Francis Xavier.
The Reducto de San Francisco Javier served as a forward defense of the Baluartillo de San Francisco Javier, and they are connected through a wooden bridge. With the bridge being made out of wood, it allowed soldiers to easily burn this bridge once they had retreated to the Baluartillo if the redoubt becomes sieged.
In 1983, the Reducto de San Francisco Javier was transformed into a shrine for the Virgin Mary bearing the Our Lady of Guadalupe title. The title of Our Lady of Guadalupe is connected with the Marian apparitions that occurred in Mexico in 1531. Currently, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most famous Catholic sites for pilgrims.
For comments or questions contact us: [email protected]