From “House of God” – by Rodolfo M. Arreza, OSA:
Whenever they went, Augustinian missionaries built towns, monasteries for the friars, churches for the faithful, and shrines. One of these shrines also housed a monastery declared a domus formata (house/community) by the Provincial Chapter of March 7, 1601 under the advocacy of Our Lady of Grace. In 1603, however, upon the petition of prominent citizens, the advocacy was changed by the Provincial Chapter to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The first set of friars was composed of three priests and a lay brother. Construction work was finished in 1629.
The life history of the sanctuary was one of ups and downs. Every time a part of the church was finished, followed a glorious period, a natural calamity followed. The shrine was also used as headquarters by British forces in 1762, when the timely intervention by an Irish Catholic saved the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was brought to Pasig for safekeeping until it was returned when hostilities ended. After the Chinese uprising of 1839 this sanctuary served as a seat of devotion for the Chinese. The buildings withstood the earthquakes of 1645, 1658, 1754 and 1863. The masonry roof of the church collapsed in the earthquakes of 1880, reducing the shrine to shambles, with the image being lost forever.
The structure was rebuilt in 1882 by Rev. Jose Corujedo, OSA as the site of an orphan asylum and trade school administered by the Augustinian Order for the benefit of the children of the victims of the cholera. A wooden replica of the statue of the virgin was brought in from Extremadura, Spain. But both church and monastery were gutted by artillery fire in February 1898, during the early skirmishes between Americans and Filipinos.
As the Augustinians disposed of their properties one after another, the erstwhile Guadalupe shrine was turned over to the Archdiocese of Manila. But during World War II, the Guadalupe ruins were used as a garrison by the Japanese. In the fifties, the adobe stones were taken down and used to reconstruct the Manila Cathedral. Only the walls stood as mute witness to the misfortunes of the past. Guadalupe became desolate for more than 70 years.
But on June 29, 1970, the Augustinians were recalled to their own house under an agreement between Archbishop Rufino J. Cardinal Santos and then Vicar Fr Casimiro Garcia OSA.
In 1983 with Fr Rodolfo Arreza OSA as prior, after more than a decade of massive reconstruction, the shrine sprung back to life, once more under the advocacy of Our Lady of Grace.