The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Saint John the Baptist Parish and informally known as Quiapo Church is a prominent Roman Catholic church Latin-rite Basilica located in the District of Quiapo, Manila, Philippines. The church is reputedly famous for enshrining the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ which many faithful claim to have miraculous powers. The parish belongs to the Archdiocese of Manila and is currently rectored by Rev. Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio.
In August 29, 1586, Governor General Santiago de Vera founded the District of Quiapo. The Franciscan Missionaries built the first church of Quiapo with Bamboo and Nipa materials. San Pedro Bautista, a Franciscan missionary at that time was one of the founders of the Quiapo church and several other churches in Metro Manila and Laguna city. The original church was burned in 1639 and was rebuilt with a stronger edifice. It was again partially destroyed by an earthquake of 1863.
Under the supervision of Fathers Eusebio de Leon and Manuel Roxas, the third church was completed in 1899. Fr. Roxas raised an unprecedented amount of PhP. 40,000.00 pesos from donations and lay contributions. In October 30, 1928, the church was caught in a fire which almost destroyed the church. Dona Encarnacion Nakpil de Orense, head of the Parish Committee, raised funds for the reconstruction of the church. Filipino Artist and architect, Juan Nakpil also rebuilt the church.
Expansion of the Church and Recognition as Minor Basilica
Msgr. Jose Abriol appointed Filipino architect Jose Ma. Zaragoza and Engineer Eduardo Santiago to remold the church in 1984 allowing it to accommodate more devotees. Cardinal Jaime Sin blessed the parish on September 28, 1987. In 199, the Quiapo Church was declared the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. The Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Most Rev. Bruno Torpigliani, blessed the altar of San Lorenzo Ruiz on February 1, 1988.
The Devotion to the Black Nazarene
The Quiapo Church holds a weekly novena every Friday and is attended by thousands of devotees every day. A January 9 event is participated by millions of devotees who celebrate the translacion or transfer of the Black Nazarene statue at the church. Daily hourly masses are celebrated and devotees come from all walks of life. See also, Black Nazarene.