Quiapo Church now a national shrine
Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna on Tuesday expressed hope that the elevation of the Quiapo Church to a national shrine will inspire more Catholics to develop an even more intense devotion, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
“We expect more people to be drawn to our very popular Quiapo Church, 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,” she said in a statement.
Lacuna added that even before the official declaration, the Quiapo Church or Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno, had long been esteemed as a shrine not only by Manila residents and devotees of the Black Nazarene but also by the Catholic faithful both here and abroad.
During Monday's rites, Msgr. Bernardo Patin, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), handed over to Quiapo Church rector Fr. Jun Sescon the decree that now classifies the basilica as a national shrine during the solemn declaration which was attended by over 70 bishops, other members of the clergy and devotees.
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.
It has become world-famous for drawing millions of devotees during the holding of the procession of the Black Nazarene every Jan. 9.
During its 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 Jan. 29, 2024.
It approved Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jose 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.