Pakil was visita of Paete until 1676 when Fr. Francisco de Barajas was assigned as permanent minister. Although permission was obtained in 1684 to reserve tribute collected over five years for the construction of the church, the foundations were not dug until 1732, during the incumbency of Fr. Fernando Haro. The complex was burnt in 1739. Work on the complex continued until 1767. An additional story was added to the bell tower in 1777. In 1840, Fr. Joaquin de Coria repaired the church. Because of a fire in 1851 which ravaged most of the town, Fr. Juan de Lllanera repaired the church the following year. Fr. Juan de Dios de Villayos repaired the church roof and bell tower after it was damaged by an earthquake in 1881. The church was repaired in 1883 by Fr. Paulino Camba; damaged by the earthquake of 1937, it was repaired yet another time. During World War II, the church suffered damage and was repaired. The latest major repair was from 1980 – 84, when a story of the bell tower was rebuilt.
In 1788, the image of the Nuestra Señora de los Dolores or Virgen de Turumba was enshrined in the church. After the image survived the fire of 1851, devotion to the Virgin increased.
Heritage Features: Cruciform in plan with short transepts and with an adjacent convento built around an atrium, Pakil church is representative of Franciscan church plans. The church facade is decorated with shields and crosses. A side entrance is well decorated. Through this door passed a Saturday morning procession in honor of Our Lady. Anyone who participated in such a procession gained the same indulgence gained by anyone who visited the Franciscan church in Assisi called Portiuncula. The church interior has three Baroque altars, gilded and painted white. Three bas reliefs, depicting the miracle of the Eucharist and Anthony de Padua, the stigmata of St. Francis, and the Last Judgment decorate the interior. A rococo altar along the nave houses a crucifix with movable arms used for the Santo Entierro procession of Good Friday. Though renovated, a room in the convento still has a wall painted with 19th century polychrome work. Permission to see the room must be arranged before hand.
The feast of the Virgen de Turumba is celebrated in September on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Devotees dance through the streets of Pakil, stumbling, walking, gyrating as they go along in imitation of the sick and maimed. In preparation for the feast, seven novenas called lupì (nine days of prayer), each in honor of the sorrows of the Virgin are celebrated in the church, making this the longest novena in the Philippines.
Behind the church is Bukal ng Birhen (Virgin’s spring) said to have medicinal waters.
Pakil is the birthplace of musician and composer Marcelo Adonay y Quisteria (6 February 1848-8 February 1928). He was organist and choir master of San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, for many years. He is known for composing a march for the procession of the Virgen de Turumba, and for a song honoring Rizal. A monument to Adonay stands in the plaza in front of the church.