The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (canonically known as Saint John the Baptist Parish and colloquially known as Quiapo Church) is a prominent Roman Catholic Latin-rite basilica located in the District of Quiapo in the City of Manila, Philippines. The basilica is famous home for the shrine of the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ many faithfully claim to be miraculous. The parish is under the Archdiocese of Manila and its current rector is Rev. Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio.
On 29 August 1586, Governor-General Santiago de Vera founded the District of Quiapo as a suburb of Spanish Manila. The Franciscan Missionaries built the first church on the site, using bamboo for the frame and nipa palm as thatching. Saint Pedro Bautista, a Franciscan missionary and martyr, was one of the founders of the Quiapo Church and several other churches in what is now Metro Manila and Laguna. The original church burned down in 1639 and was replaced by a stronger edifice, which was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1863.
Under the supervision of Rev. Eusebio de León and Rev. Manuel Roxas, the third church was completed in 1899. Roxas had raised the unprecedented amount of ₱40,000.00 from donations and lay contributions. On 30 October 1928, the church again caught fire and was almost completely destroyed. Doña Encarnación Nakpíl de Orense, then the head of the Parish Committee, raised funds for the reconstruction. Filipino National Artist, architect Juan Nakpil (the son of composer Julio Nakpil) added the dome and a second belfry to the edifice.
Expansion and Recognition as Minor Basilica
Msgr. Jose Abriol appointed Filipino architect Jose Ma. Zaragoza and Engineer Eduardo Santiago to expand the church in 1984, to accommodate more devotees. Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, reconsecrated the church on 28 September 1987, and the following year the church was declared a Minor Basilica. Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Most Rev. Bruno Torpigliani, blessed the altar of Saint Lorenzo Ruíz on 1 February 1988.
Abortifacients sold by private vendors
The vicinity of the church is a popular area for peddlers of unsafe abortifacients, local gastric irritants and untested herbal folk (potions) remedies. The merchandise are anonymously sold from stalls surrounding the Basilica and the Plaza Miranda fronting it. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines, and individuals who cannot afford the surgical procedure resort to these vendors.