On April 5, 1617, Bangued was created as a ministry by the Augustinian Recollects under the Diocese of Nueva Segovia. The construction of the church was started in 1722 and was completed in 1807. During the feast of Saint James the Greater, Bangued was proclaimed as the capital of Abra on July 25, 1861. After the Philippine Revolution in 1898, secular clergy took over. On March 10, 1945, American warplanes bombed the church and the adjoining Colegio del Sagrado Corazon which was used as military hospital by the Japanese Imperial Army. The original altar was destroyed with only the walls and bell tower remained. In 1947, the church was reconstructed. On July 25, 1955, it was proclaimed as a cathedral Abra made Prelature Nullius. In 1976, the parish was handed to the diocesan clergy.