In 1755 the first structure of wood and thatch were built on this site by the Agustinian friars under the patronage of San Fernando III, King of Castile. Fray Sebastian Moreno, O.S.A. was its first cura parroco. On October 17, 1757, townsfolk petitioned the governor-general for exemptions from tribute to enable them to build the church and convent. It was transferred to the care of secular priests in 1788. The construction of the present church started during the same year under the supervision Fr. Manuel Canlas, its first secular cura parroco, and a committee composed of the principales of the town led by then gobernadorcillo Bernabe Pamintuan. Construction was completed in 1808. The church was rededicated to the Assumption of Our Lady.
President Emilio F. Aguinaldo and his cabinet viewed the Philippine Revolutionary Army from the windows of the convento on October 9, 1898. The church and convento were burned by the Philippine Revolutionary Army on orders of Gen. Antonio Luna, on May 4, 1899. It was again destroyed by fire in 1939, and later restored by architect Fernando H. Ocampo.
In 1948 the church was elevated to Cathedral when it became the seat of the Diocese of San Fernando, canonically created by Pope Pius XII. Later in 1975, the diocese was elevated by Pope Paul VI, to Archdiocese of San Fernando. Its first bishop was Monsignor Cesar Ma. Guerrero, D.D. He was followed by the Most Reverend Emilio A. Cinense, D.D., who became its first archbishop. He was succeeded by the Most Reverend Oscar V. Cruz, D.D. in 1978. The third and current archbishop of San Fernando is the Most Reverend Paciano B. Aniceto, D.D. 
Very Rev. Msgr. Prudencio David, VG 1918-1952. Very Rev. Msgr. Bartolome Zabala 1952-1958. Very Rev. Msgr. Pedro Puno, VG 1958-1969. Very Rev. Msgr. Diosdado Victorio, VG 1969-1974. Very Rev. Msgr. Serafin Ocampo 1974-1981. Very Rev. Msgr. Jesus Galang 1981-1992. Most Rev. Paciano Aniceto, D.D. 1992-1995. Very Rev. Msgr. Eugenio Mercado, VF 1995-2002. Very Rev. Msgr. Cenovio Lumanog, VG 2002-2007. Very Rev. Msgr. Ricardo Jesus T. Serrano, SLD,VD. 2007-present.