June 21, 2024
The Baguio Cathedral stairs have a new look. The angels and saints watch over your assent.

Residents and visitors have a new place for devotion and penitence with the renovation of the Baguio Cathedral stairway from Session Road to the Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral. The design is encouraging and friendly for a prayerful ascent or descent of 105 steps.
Going up is the most difficult as you lift your weight with each step but blessing your way are St. Michael the Archangel and St. Gabriel the Archangel. St. Michael the first archangel has four main responsibilities or offices: to combat Satan; to escort the faithful to heaven at their hour of death; to be a champion of all Christians, and the Church itself; and to call men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment.
We pray for his intercession to defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. St. Gabriel is the second archangel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. He is a powerful messenger of God, who can assist us in our journey towards heaven as well.

The view of the side of the building is filled with potted plants to mitigate air pollution.

Our Lady of the Atonement, the patron saint of the Baguio Cathedral, is described by Father Paul of Graymoor, founder of the Friars of the Atonement as the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Atonement, “we think of her as the connecting link between ourselves and God…to bring about that blissful state of Unity which will constitute the joy of Heaven.”
The intercession of Our Lady of the Atonement will aid in obtaining the fullness of reconciliation through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, her son, our Lord and in following God’s will to preserve unity and peace. Her loving and merciful example guides us and gives us strength, according to Catholic sources.

St. Michael the Archangel welcomes those going up on the first step.

St. Joseph was “just,” the Bible means that he was one who was completely open to all that God wanted to do for him. We pray to Saint Joseph asking for his intercession to keep our hearts, bodies and minds pure. He is the patron of the Universal Church, the dying, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.
St. Padre Pio is recognized as the patron saint of civil defense workers, adolescents, and his birthplace of Pietrelcina, Italy. Through his intercession, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of the Church.

Our Lady of the Atonement is along one side of the steps.

St. Mother Teresa spent most of her life trying to serve the sick and poor from her base in Calcutta, India.
St. Teresa of Calcutta is the patron saint of World Youth Day, Missionaries of Charity and a co-patron of the Archdiocese of Calcutta, alongside St. Francis Xavier. The petition to her, “Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Jesus called you to bring the light of His love to those who live in darkness. By tender, loving care for the poorest and the neediest, you became the sign of God’s presence, His love and compassion in the midst of suffering and pain.”
St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of the environment and animals because he loved all creatures and allegedly preached to even the birds. The Prayer of Saint Francis is a widely known Christian prayer for peace.

St. John Marie Vianney is on the side.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus is the patron saint of florists, foreign missions, loss of parents, priests, and the sick (particularly those with tuberculosis). She inspires us to live in simplicity and put love at the forefront of daily life. We pray the St. Therese Novena to grow our trust in God’s love for us.
St. Benedict is the father of monastic life. Through his intercession may we be delivered from temptation, spiritual oppression, physical ills, and disease. Protect us from drug and alcohol abuse, impurity and immorality, objectionable companions, and negative attitudes. 
St. John Marie Vianney is venerated in the Catholic Church as a saint and as the patron saint of parish priests. The life and vocation of St. John Marie Vianney shows us the importance of our role in the spiritual transformation of our communities.
St. Raphael the Archangel is one of four archangels who is invoked for journeys and at critical moments of life. His saintly patronage includes healing and matchmaking.

At the foot of the stairs the handrails are reassuring for those who need to hold on to something. There is no need for the climbers to meet.

St. Uriel the Archangel’s name translates to “God Is My Light”, so if you are faced with confusion or trouble in making a tough decision, making the prayer to Archangel Uriel will help you gain a clear focus of direction and wisdom. The angel of wisdom is often invoked by students, but his wisdom can also help those who are in doubt, or learning.
As you petition the different saints on your way to the church, you would have completely sent petitions for everyone and everything in the community and your life more importantly. Literally a stairway to heaven.

Potted bamboo plants soften the assent in some parts.