Mayor Honey Lacuna branded as a ‘most welcome development’ for the city of Manila the official declaration of the Quiapo Church as a “national shrine.”
Lacuna though said that even before the official declaration, the Quiapo Church had long been esteemed as a shrine, not only by Manila residents and devotees to the Black Nazarene which is housed there, but also by the Catholic faithful both here and abroad.
According to the mayor, who attended the mass celebrated in relation to the said development, the elevation of the Quiapo Church from its former status as an archdiocesan shrine to a national shrine will be a big boost to the city as host to a Church of such status and will inspire more Catholics to develop an even more intense devotion.
“We expect more people to be drawn to our very popular Quiapo Church, also known as Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno, which had created a huge religious and cultural impact on the nation as a whole, even bridging the gap between societal classes particularly during the holding of the annual ‘Traslacion’, easily the most deeply-revered religious event in the country” the lady mayor enthused.
Canonically known as the Saint John the Baptist Parish, the Quiapo Church, was recognized by Pope John Paul II in 1987 as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene for its cultural impact on the religiosity of Filipinos in 1987. It has become world-famous for drawing millions of devotees during the holding of the procession of the Black Nazarene every January 9, as a highlight of the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene.
Msgr. Bernardo Patin, secretary-general Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), handed over to Quiapo Church rector Fr. Jun Sescon the decree that now classifies the said Church as a national shrine.
It will be recalled that at the bishops’ 126th plenary assembly in Aklan in July last year, the CBCP has decided and subsequently announced that from being an archdiocesan shrine, the Quiapo Church will be officially declared as a national shrine on January 29, 2024 as it approved Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula’s petition to designate the home of the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene as the nation’s 29th national shrine.
A national shrine is a Catholic Church or other sacred place which has met certain requirements and is given the honor by the national episcopal conference in recognition of the church’s special cultural, historical, and religious significance.