History and museums
The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (canonically known as Saint John the Baptist Parish and colloquially known as Quiapo Church; Spanish: Basílica Menor del Nazareno Negro) 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 claim to be miraculous. The parish is under the Archdiocese of Manila and its current rector is Rev. Msgr. Hernando Coronel.
The early church built by the Franciscan Missionaries was made of bamboo for the frame and nipa palm as thatching. In 1574, Limahong and his soldiers destroyed and burned the church. Formerly a visita of Santa Ana, Quiapo Church, a Franciscan friar, Fr. Antonio de Nombella founded the church in 1588 which was declared the Parish of St. John the Baptist, the precursor of Christ who called everyone to penance before one can receive Him. It was burned in 1603 and the parish was temporarily handed over to the Jesuits till the secular priests objected. Gov. Gen. Santiago de Vera initiated the full construction of the church in 1686. On April 8, 1639, the administration of the Church was returned to the seculars who had always taking care of the church’s welfare.
The English attempted to destroy the church in 1762. An earthquake in 1863 destroyed the church and in its place a temporary church was built. Fr. Eusebio de León reconstructed the ruined church in 1879. Rev. Eusebio de León and Rev. Manuel Roxas completed the reconstruction of the church in 1889. Roxas had raised the unprecedented amount of ₱40,000.00 from donations and lay contributions. On 30 October 1928, the church caught fire again which destroyed the church’s wooden ceiling and the sacristy at the rear of the main altar.
Fr. Magdaleno Castillo began the reconstruction of the church from the plan prepared by Filipino National Artist, Architect Juan Nakpil, son of composer Julio Nakpil, in 1933. He added the dome and a second belfry to the edifice. Architect Jose Maria Zaragoza enlarged the church and changed the design of the lateral walls in 1984. The facade and the dome were retained in the remodeling of the church.
The church was conferred the title Basilica Minor of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno in 1988.
Msgr. José Abriol appointed Filipino architect José 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.
A Baroque church, the facade is distinctive with twisted columns on both levels. The Corinthian columns of the second level has 1/3 of the shaft near the base in twisted form while the upper portion has a smooth surface. The topmost portion of the four-storey belltowers are balustered and decorated with huge scrolls. The tympanum of the pediment has a pair of chalice-like decoration and towards the end of the raking cornice urn-like vases the pediment terminates. With its recent renovation, only the facade and the dome at the transept retained the classic design.
The masses go to Quiapo Church in downtown Plaza Miranda and drop a visit to the Nuestro Señor Jesús Nazareno (a dark figure of Christ carved by a Mexican artist from black wood) whose image, reputedly miraculous, was brought to the country in a Spanish galleon in the 17th century.
Quiapo Church holds a novena every Friday, Quiapo Day, in honour of the Black Nazarene, and is attended by thousands of devotees. A note is sounded before the novena begins as the devotees to the Black Nazarene troop in and emit their strings of petitions. One can encounter the traditional folk Catholicism of Filipinos when they all climb the narrow flight of stairs to kiss the Señor’s foot or wipe it with their handkerchiefs they use everytime they visit. The Feast of the Black Nazarene on 9 January celebrates the traslación (solemn translation) of the statue to the church from the Church of Saint Nicholas Tolentino. Traffic is re-routed round the devotees who participate in this district’s fiesta. There are men who are devoted to carry the Black Nazarene statue around a specific route. They have a panata, a vow to serve the Lord in this sacrifice. These people believed that an afternoon’s participation in the procession can repent their sins and shady deals in a year.
Daily hourly masses are celebrated and devotees come from all walks of life.
Quiapo Parochial School was created in 1951 for the purpose of addressing the scholastic needs of the parish. The school patron is the Black Nazarene, which is a significant factor to the change of the school name to Nazarene Catholic School.
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.
The media often covers stories of dead foetuses being abandoned outside of the church's Blessed Sacrament chapel, a practise condemned by the Archdiocese of Manila. Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales has issued several canonical excommunications for women who perform intentional abortion in relation to such practices near the shrine, as ruled by the Latae Sententiae punishment by the Roman Catholic Church. The fetuses covered by the Filipino TV media are often left anonymously wrapped in sack-cloth or plain boxes.
Rev. Msgr. Hernando M. Coronel,P.C. is the current Rector of the shrine and was former Rector of Manila Cathedral & San Carlos Seminary. He is assisted by several Parochial Vicars: Rev. Fr. Franklin M. Villanueva, Rev. Fr. Marvin C. Cruz and Rev. Fr. Douglas D. Badong.
Schedule of Eucharistic Service (Masses):
Mass and Healing Services
Anointing of the Sick
Schedule of Live Streaming (via www.quiapochurch.com)
Schedule of Televised Mass
Schedule of Baptism
Schedule of Confirmation
Novena, Evening Prayer and Holy Hour