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The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (canonically known as Saint John the Baptist Parish and informally as Quiapo Church) is a prominent Roman Catholic Latin-rite basilica located in the District of Quiapo in the City of Manila, Philippines. The church is famous as the shrine of 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 its current rector is Rev. Msgr. José 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.
On 13 December 1975, Manila Auxiliary Bishop, the Most Rev. Hernando Antiporda, was murdered along with his assistant parish priest, Rev. Raymundo Costales. The culprits strangled the bishop with a cord, while they stabbed Costales in the neck with a broken bottle; a suspected motive was robbery.
Expansion and Recognition as Minor Basilica
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.
Devotion to the Black Nazarene
Main article: Black Nazarene
Quiapo Church holds a novena every Friday in honour of the Black Nazarene, and is attended by thousands of devotees. 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. Daily hourly masses are celebrated and devotees come from all walks of life.
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.
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. José Clemente F. Ignacio is the current Rector of the shrine and was former Episcopal Vicar, Chancellor and Treasurer of the Archdiocese of Manila. He is assisted by several Parochial Vicars: Rev. Fernando F. Cárpio, Rev. Franklin M. Villanueva, Rev. Venusto F. Suarez and Rev. Ricardo F. Valencia, Jr..
Schedule of Services
Monday to Thursday: 5:00 am to 10:00 am (Every Hour); 12:00 nn, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm
Friday: 4:00 am to 12:15 pm (Every Hour); 2:00 pm (Talk); 3:00 pm (Holy Hour); 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm (every hour)
Saturday: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm (Every Hour-Anticipated Mass)
Sunday: 5:00 am to 12:15 pm (Every Hour); 3:00 pm (Pro-Populo Mass); 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Every Hour); 8:00 pm (Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament)
Monday to Saturday: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm
Mass and Healing Services
Thursdays before First Friday: 6:00 pm
Holy Hour and Benediction
After Last Mass of Friday and Sunday
Every Third Thursdays: 7:30 pm
Every Friday: 2:00 pm