by Russell Fleur Gallego
images from Quiapo Church Facebook page
On May 31, during the 12:15 PM mass, Rev. Fr. Robert Arellano, the parochial vicar, announced that the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene St. John the Baptist Parish or commonly known as the Quiapo Church had been declared as the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene by His Eminence Jose Cardinal Advincula, the Archbishop of Manila.
Quiapo Church is home to the miraculous black image of Jesus the Nazarene or the Nazareno. Thousands would flock the church on Friday to attend the novena while millions would join the annual Traslacion held every January 9. The Traslacion commemorates the successful transfer of the image of the Nazareno from St. Nicholas Tolentino Parish in Intramuros to its current location.
On December 11, 1987, Pope John Paul II elevated Quiapo Church as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene "because of its role in strengthening a deep popular devotion to Jesus Christ and its cultural contribution to the religiosity of the Filipino people."
The declaration is an early gift for the parish fiesta on June 24, the feast of St. John the Baptist.