Quiapo Church

August 18, 2010

Quiapo Church, officially known as Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, is a Roman Catholic church located in the District of Quiapo, Manila, in the Philippines. The church is one of the most popular churches in the country. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a much venerated statue of Jesus Christ which many people believe has miraculous attributes. The church was painted cream after the original Mexican Baroque  edifice was burned down in 1928. It is expanded to its current form in 1984 for accommodation of thousands of devotees. Also known as St. John the Baptist Parish, the church at present belongs to the Archdiocese of Manila. The current rector is Rev. Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio, former Chancellor and Oeconomus of the Archdiocese of Manila, who succeeded Msgr. Josefino Ramirez (the Vicar General of the archdiocese) upon the latter’s appointment as rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Maysilo, Mandaluyong City. Assisting Msgr. Clem are his Parochial Vicars Rev. Fr. Fernando Carpio, Rev. Fr. Frank Villanueva, Rev. Fr. Venusto Suarez and Rev. Fr. Alvin Fullon who has recently been promoted as Parish Priest of Mary the Comforter Parish, Maricaban, Pasay.  When Governor General Santiago de Vera founded the District of Quiapo on August 29, 1586, the Franciscan Missionaries built the first church of Quiapo with Bamboo and Nipa. San Pedro Bautista, a Franciscan missionary at that time was one of the founders of the Quiapo church, thus his image is located at one of the side niches of the church. San Pedro Bautista founded many churches in Metro Manila and Laguna. The famous of them all is the one at San Francisco Del Monte, the parish that is named after him and houses the Holy Cave for missionaries that went to China and Japan during those days. Unfortunately, this church was burned in 1639. Rebuilding and repairs at intervals gave the parish a stronger edifice which the earthquake of 1863 partially destroyed. Under the supervision of Fathers Eusebio de Leon and Manuel Roxas, the third church was completed in 1899, with Fr. Roxas raising PhP. 40,000.00 from contributions. In the fire of October 30, 1928, the church was left in ruins leaving its scarred walls and belfry. Dona Encarnacion Nakpil de Orense, head of the Parish Committee, raised funds for the reconstruction of the church and National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil was made responsible for the church’s rebuilding. Miraculously, the church survived the ravages of the Second World War, despite its surrounding buildings being completely destroyed. The Quiapo Church holds a weekly novena every Friday and is attended by thousands of devotees. On January 9, the parish commemorates the “TRASLACION”, or the transfer of the image from Luneta (formerly Bagumbayan) to Quiapo. This event is participated by Millions of Devotees while Quiapo Church holds Novena of Masses before the event. Many sick people come to see the Black Nazarene, hoping that getting a chance to pray in front of its miraculous image would heal their sicknesses. Others come for various intentions and the answers as well as the miracles are attributed to the special presence of Our Lord in the Shrine. Daily hourly masses are celebrated and devotees from all over the country would always pass by the Church of Quiapo. Every Thursday before First Fridays, healing Services are conducted with priests administering the blessings. Confessions are readily available beginning 8am until 7pm.

Quiapo is geographically located at the very center of the city of Manila. It is bounded by Estero de San Miguel on the South, San Miguel District on the East, Claro M. Recto Avenue on the North and Quezon Boulevard on the West.

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