About Us

Our History

The Church

Quiapo Church, officially known as Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, is a Roman Catholic church located in the District of Quiapo, Manila, in the Philippines. The church is one of the most popular churches in the country. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a much venerated statue of Jesus Christ which many people believe has miraculous attributes. The church was painted cream after the original Mexican Baroque edifice was burned down in 1928. It is expanded to its current form in 1984 for accommodation of thousands of devotees. Also known as St. John the Baptist Parish, the church at present belongs to the Archdiocese of Manila. The current rector is Rev. Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio, former Episcopal Vicar, Chancellor and Oeconomus of the Archdiocese of Manila, who succeeded Msgr. Josefino Ramirez (the Vicar General of the archdiocese) upon the latter’s appointment as rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Maysilo, Mandaluyong City. Assisting Msgr. Clem are his Parochial Vicars Rev. Fr. Fernando Carpio, Rev. Fr. Frank Villanueva, Rev. Fr. Venusto Suarez and Rev. Fr. Ricardo Valencia.

 

Timeline:

  • 1586: The mission outpost of the Franciscans from Sta. Ana de Sapa became a town by the decree of Governor General Santiago de Vera being the first Parish Priest, Fr Antonio de Nombella, OFM. The Archbishop of Manila had his curia or Chancery office here.
  • 1603: The Church of light materials was burned due to the rebellion of the Chinese.
  • 1645: The Church was destroyed due to strong earthquake.
  • 1685: The parish was transferred to the care of the Jesuit by Governor General Sebastian Hurtado De Corcuera only to be returned to the Diocesan Priest in 1639.
  • 1728: The Archbishop of Manila, Bermudez G. de Castro received the Pallium from the Bishop of Cagayan.
  • 1767: The Recollect Fathers who had a confraternity of Jesus Nazarene in Intramuros present the Image of Nazarene during the incumbency of Archbishop Basilio Sancho.
  • 1791: The Church was burned.
  • 1863: Church together with many buildings and Manila Cathedral were demolished.
  • 1864: Construction of Stone Church began by Father Eusebio de Leon and terminated by Father Manual Roxas.
  • 1929: Church was destroyed by fire and constructed began by Father Magdaleno Castillo, as per plans by architect Juan Nakpil in1933.
  • 1975: Bishop Hernando Y. Antiporda and Father Raymundo Costalas were murdered.
  • 1981: Jose C. Abriol constructed three buildings of Quiapo Parochial School at R. Hidalgo which were managed by the Sister of St. Paul de Chartres.
  • 1984: Under the supervision of Msgr. Jose C. Abriol the church was remodeled by Arch. Jose Ma. Zaragoza and Engr. Eduardo A. Santiago. Blessed by His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin on September 28, 1987.
  • 1988: Church was made Basilica thru the initiative of Jaime Cardinal Sin and Papal Nuncio, Most Rev. Bruno Torpigliani. The Altar of San Lorenzo Ruiz was blessed by the Nuncio on February 1, 1988.
  • 1989: Through the generosity of the people of Quaipo and Devotees of the Nazareno. Five Bronze Bells and Three Electronic Clocks were acquired from Holland.
  • 1992: Sacerdotal Golden Julbilee of Msgr. Abriol.

The image

The Augustinian Recollect Friars brought the image of the Black Nazarene to the Church of San Juan Bautista in Bagumbayan, now part of Luneta/Rizal Park on May 31, 1606. The image was transferred to the bigger Recollect church of San Nicolas de Tolentino in 1608. In 1787, Basilio Sancho de Santas Junta y Rufina, S.P., then Archbishop of Manila, ordered the transfer of the image to the Church of Quiapo.

There is no definite account as to the origin of the statue of Christ bearing the ignominious cross, popularly known as NUESTRO PADRE JESUS NAZARENO, (N.P.J.N. in initials), which in English means Our Priest, Jesus the Nazarene. The statue is attributed to the work of a Mexican artist (name unknown) who painted the image of Christ in dark brownish-molato color, similar to the color of his own skin. Later the image was called Black Nazarene because when it arrived in the Philippines the color turned darker. Luckily, this color is in keeping with the taste for the Filipinos who consciously or unconsciously fall for the dark colored statues like those if the Virgin of Antipolo, The Virgin of Penafrancia and others.

The Statues, entrusted to an unknown Recollect priest was brought across the Pacific Ocean in the hold of a Galleon which arrived in Manila at undetermined date. As the first group of Recollect Frairs (The priests now in charge of San Sebastian Church, and San Sebastian College, in Manila) came in the year 1606, it is probable that the statue also arrived either on that year or a few years later.

Regarding the date when the image of the Black Nazarene was transferred from Intramuros to Quiapo Church, no passage was found in the Chronicles of the Recollect Father which states when was the actual transfer took place. However, based on certain research, it was determined that the transfer was made before the second burning of the Quiapo Church which happened on January 15, 1791.

The image was given to Quiapo Church according to the wish of the then Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho who blessed the Image in the 18th Century and same was blessed by Pope Pius II in the 19th Century. The Nazarene has since then towered above the high altar of the Quiapo Church.

Parish Priests of Quiapo Church:

  • Antonio De Nombella (1586)
  • Pablo Ruiz de Talavera (1603)
  • Gregorio Catena de Mesa (1619)
  • Geronimo Rodriguez de Liyan (1634)
  • Mga Paring Jesuita (1636-1639)
  • Juan de Rueda (1670)
  • Jeronimo Fernandez Caravallo (1683)
  • Juan de Bahamonde (1717)
  • Pablo Romero (1717-1720)
  • Pablo Romero (1720-1728)
  • Francisco Pujol (1728-1772)
  • Gaspar Jimenez (1772-1793)
  • Luis Mariano (1793-1800)
  • Lazaro de la Rosario (1800-1823)
  • Arcadio Aquino (1824)
  • Juan de los Santos (1825)
  • Agustin Mendoza (1856-1857)
  • Jose Maria Guevarra (1857-1871)
  • Eusebio de Leon (1871-1885)
  • Pablo Cruz (1885-1888)
  • Manual Roxas (1888-1890)
  • Manual Marco (1893-1896)
  • Gilberto Martin (1896-1897)
  • Lorenzo Maximo Gregorio (1897-1899)
  • Calixto Villafranca (1901-1924)
  • Magdaleno Castillo (1924-1937)
  • Vicente Fernandez (1937-1954)
  • Francisco Avendano (1954-1955)
  • Vicente Reyes (Obispo) (1955-1961)
  • Pedro Bantique (Obispo) (1961-1967)
  • Bienvenido Lopez (Obispo) (1967-1974)
  • Antonio Pascual (1974)
  • Hernacio Antiporda (Obispo) (1974-1975)
  • Jose C Abriol (1976-1991)
  • Bienvenido Mercado (1991-1999)
  • Teodoro J. Buhain (Obispo) (1999-2004)
  • Josefino S. Ramirez (2004-2007)
  • Jose Clemente F. Ignacio (2007-present)