Brief Historical Background of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish
25 September 2021
Origin of Cotta and Its Chronicle
During the Spanish colonial era, the galleon trade between the Philippines and Spain flourished. The rich forest resources of Tayabas Province (now Quezon) and its strategic location along the galleons route led the Spaniards to put up ports and shipyards where many galleons were built or repaired. The town of Tayabas then was known for its port in Cotta.
However, Tayabas Province also suffered an unending calvary caused by the Moros for two centuries and a half. The Moros frequently attacked Tayabas Province since it was a vital base of Spanish efforts to subjugate the inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu. To defend themselves against the Moros, watchtowers and high fortresses or spiked fences were built along the seashores. This is the reason why three ports had to be built at Barra de Cotta (former name of Lucena).
In the second half of the 19th century, principales from Cotta and several other barrios decided to seek the establishment of their pueblo and parroquia independently from the town of Tayabas. The new pueblo was named Lucena after a Spanish City. Cotta became a part of Lucena.
In 1911, Sinforoso Loyola donated a half hectare of land (the site where the shrine stands today) where a chapel was built. The priest from Lucena visited the place to say Mass once in a while until the war broke out. After the Second World War, the Holy Mass was celebrated only during the Feastday of St. Jude. Since nobody was tasked to take care of the chapel, it became a haven for all kinds of stray animals, until it became dilapidated.
In 1954, Bishop Alfredo Ma. Obviar assigned Fr. Catalino Elloso, a Dominican priest, as administrator to prepare the barrio of Cotta to be established as a parish. The Parish of St. Jude Thaddeus was canonically erected on October 28, 1956. The lay leaders who contributed to its development included Socorro Ramos, Cirila Ramos, Hermilando Alcala, and Pacita Dinglasan.
In the term of Fr. Gregorio NaÆola, which began in 1956 and ended in 1962, Catholic Action was organized, as well as the first Cotta Parish Council which was composed of Bro. Gregorio (Goring) V. Isana as president, Bro. Antonio Villafuerte as vice-president, Sis. Nenita H. Calalo as secretary, Sis. Estella Zaballero as treasurer and Bro. Rustico Calalo as an auditor.
Other priests who served the parish were: Fr. Jose Absulio  1961 to 1962, as visiting priest; Fr. Daniel Palilio  1962 to 1964, as parish priest; Fr. Conrado Montero  1964 to 1966, as parish priest; Fr. Carlos Isles  1966 to 1968, as parish priest; Fr. Juanito Claudio  1968 to 1972; Fr. Francisco Ayala  April 5 to 16, 1972 as parish priest; Fr. Ciriaco Alberto Sevilla, Jr.  April 16 to May 10, 1972, as parochial vicar; Fr. Ruben Profugo- May 10, 1972, to 1979; Fr. Alfredo Lao- July 1979 to November 1983; Fr. Philip Pasupil - November 6, 1983, to November 1989; Fr. Ramon Tiama- November 6, 1983, to February 1984; Fr. Virgilio Salvador - November 30, 1989, to October 4, 1992; Fr. Leandro Castro- March to September 1990, as visiting priest; Fr. Sergio Nadres- March 3 to May 31, 1991, as visiting priest; Fr. Carlos Pedro Herrera - December 1991 to December 5, 19993, as the parochial vicar; Fr. Antonio ObeÆa  January 23, 1993, to May 6, 1996, as parish priest; Fr. Alfred Francis Alilio- December 5, 1993, to April 1995, as parochial vicar; Fr. Crizaldy MaaÆo  June 1995 to May 5 1996, as parochial vicar;Fr. Aurelio Reyes  May 5, 1996, to September 29, 1996, as parish priest; Fr. Alberto Aller - September 29, 1996, to June 17, 1999, as a parish priest; Fr. Gerardo Paderon  June 25, 1999, to April 7, 2002, as parish priest; Fr. David Erwin Aguilar- December 2000 to February 2001, as a visiting priest; Fr. Romel Limbo - December 2000 to February 2001, as visiting priest; Fr. Edwin Baruelo  April 7, 2002, to February 28, 2003, as parish priest; Fr. Ruel Abuel- February 2003 to February 2009, as a parish priest; Fr. Bienvenido Lozano  February 14, 2009, to February 04, 2015, as parish priest; Fr. Nelson L. Valle  February 4, 2015, to June 2019; Fr. Bryan A. Ralph Cabrera - April 1, 2018, to July 5, 2020; Fr. Gerardo M. Juarez  July 2019, to June 2021, as a parish priest; Fr. Carmelo G. Villocillo, June 2020, to June 2021, as parochial vicar; and Fr. Virgilio Nadres, Jr.  June 28, 2021, to date.

Dedication as Parish and Shrine
The numerous faithful devotees of St. Jude Thaddeus bear witness to the dedication of the church on October 11, 1992. St. Jude Thaddeus church was dedicated as the first shrine in the Diocese of Lucena.
Most Rev. Bishop Ruben T. Profugo presided over the Holy Eucharist. The concelebrants were Fr. Carlos Herrera, assistant parish priest, Msgr. Gregorio Salvatus, vicar general, Msgr. Alfredo Lao, Msgr. Luis Balquiedra, Fr. Gerardo Juazer, Fr. Pasupil, Fr. Benito Garcia, Fr. Antonio Salvania, Fr. Melecio Verastigue, Fr. Alfred Alilio, Fr. Crizaldy MaaÆo and Fr. Pergentino CasiÆo.
Bishop Profugo in his homily explained the true meaning of the dedication and consecration of a church. He said that not only the church but the living church, the faithful, are consecrated to God. He challenged the community to make this Church the Church of the Poor in response to the call of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines.
After the Mass, the dedication and historical markers were unveiled by Gov. and Mrs. Eduardo Rodriguez, Violeta Ong, Ruby Talaga, and Araceli Lacuesta. The parochial office and the image of the Resurrected Christ were blessed before the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

The Story of St. Jude Thaddeus
The origins of the devotion to St. Jude as the patron of impossible causes are nearly as obscure as details of the life of the great Apostle, but devotion to St. Jude has never been more popular than today.
Jesus inspired devotion to St. Jude when he directed St. Bridget of Sweden to turn to St. Jude with great faith and confidence. By his surname, Thaddeus (which means generous, courageous, kind), Our Lord said,  He will show himself most willing to give help.
The renowned St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who died in 1153 and who was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1830, is reputed to have had a strong personal dedication to St. Jude.
The Gospel tells us that St. Jude was a brother of St. James the Less, also on the twelve. They are described by St. Matthew (13:55) as the brethren indicates a blood relationship. His mother, Mary, was a cousin of the Blessed Mother.
St. Jude is traditionally depicted carrying the image of Jesus in his hand. This represents the imprint of the divine Countenance that was entrusted to him by Jesus. King Abagar of Edessa asked Jesus to cure him of leprosy and sent an artist to bring him a drawing of Jesus. Impressed with Abagars great faith, Our Lord pressed His face on a cloth and gave it to St. Jude take to Abagar and cure him. The king was cured and converted to Christianity along with most of his subjects.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, St. Jude traveled throughout Mesopotamia, Libya, and Persia with St.Simon, preaching and converting many to Christianity.
St. Jude died a martyrs death. Later, his body was brought to Rome and placed in a crypt under St. Peters Basilica.
Today, millions of people around the world turn to St. Jude, patron saint of seemingly impossible or difficult causes, when they feel most helpless and alone. St. Jude has proven to be a true friend and a beacon of hope to those who call on him.
The Association of Faithful Devotees of St. Jude Thaddeus in the Parish of St. Jude Thaddeus in Cotta, Lucena City was founded on January 1, 1992.

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