Quiapo Church officially elevated as national shrine

MANILA, Philippines – Following a solemn declaration ceremony on Monday, January 29, the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo Church, has been designated as a national shrine.

Quiapo Church, renowned as the sanctuary of the miraculous Black Nazarene, draws millions of devotees annually during its traditional procession held every January 9th.

Quiapo Church officially elevated as national shrine
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Quiapo Church

The church will be formally acknowledged as the "National Shrine of the Black Nazarene," alongside its existing designations such as Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene, as well as its original canonical name, Saint John the Baptist Parish.

It can be read on Quiapo Church’s official Facebook page, “Opisyal [nang] idineklara sa pangunguna ng Kanyang Kabunyian Jose F Cardinal Advincula, Jr., Arsobispo ng Maynila ang Solemne Deklarasyon ng simbahan ng Quiapo bilang isang Pambansang Dambana na ngayon ay tatawaging BASILIKA MENOR AT PAMBANSANG DAMBANA NI JESUS NAZARENO (Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno) kasama ang mga Arsobispo at Obispo ng Pilipinas at ang mga kaparian. Viva Poong Hesus Nazareno!”

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) officially raised the church to national shrine status due to certain considerations. According to the article released by CBCP, for numerous years, the abode of the ancient and venerated Black Nazarene image has stood as a prominent destination for pilgrims hailing from all corners of the nation.

Since the "traslacion," the transfer of the image from Intramuros to Quiapo in 1787, Quiapo Church has emerged as a focal point of devotion for Filipinos, especially those who are impoverished and afflicted.

What was initially a local feast observed solely on January 9 has now expanded its influence and is commemorated by devotees in various regions of the country and even overseas.

According to the CBCP policy, a shrine must have held the designation of a diocesan shrine for at least a decade before being considered for national status, unless an exception is granted by the competent authority.

However, in the case of Quiapo Church, CBCP Secretary General Msgr. Bernardo Pantin explained that this requirement was waived because the church is already widely recognized as a de facto national shrine. Pantin stated, "The purpose of the 10-year policy was to enable it to be known on a national level. But Quiapo Church is already well known, so it was exempted from the requirement."

In 1987, St. John Paul II elevated the church to the status of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, recognizing its significant role in fostering profound popular devotion to Jesus Christ and its cultural impact on the religious practices of Filipinos. It was not until May 10 of this year that Cardinal Advincula conferred the church with the status of an archdiocesan shrine.

Recently, the Antipolo Church was declared an international shrine, marking it as the first of its kind in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia.

— Noel Ed Richards, The Summit Express

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