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The Feast Of The Black Nazarene And The Quiapo Church

No Comment [Euronews] from 2008 Feast of the Black Nazarene

Quiapo’s Black Nazarene
Now A National Patron

Today is the grand fiesta of the Quiapo district of the City of Manila. It marks the end of the novena to Jesus the Black Nazarene that always starts on New Year’s Day. But unlike previous years—but like 2006, when the nation celebrated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the life-size Black Nazarene sculpture in wood of Jesus Christ in the costume of a royal personage bearing the cross of Calvary and wearing a crown of thorns—the procession in honor of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Our Father Jesus Nazarene) starts at the Luneta. It leaves the Luneta right after the 8 a.m. High Mass celebrated by Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.

Public safety drove Manila’s Church and police authorities to change the venue of the High Mass and procession from Quiapo church itself to the Luneta. The average participation has grown in the past decade to 80,000, which according to news reports quoting police officials, poses extraordinary hazards to the public.

A Most Spectacular Religious Event

The feast of the Black Nazarene is viewed by Manilans—and now people of many other cities that have also mounted High Masses and the Black Nazarene procession on January 9, making it a national feast day—as one of the most spectacular and deeply pious religious events in our country.

Here is the late National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s description of the procession, written in 1979 for Mr. and Ms. Publications’ Almanac for Manileños:

“To Quiapo’s fiesta procession speed wave on wave and horde upon horde of all Manila’s maledom: kanto boy and matón, jeep driver and stevedore, the siga and the sikat—all in the classic get-up of the Quiapo panata: towel round the neck, rolled-up trousers, bare feet, and white T-shirt printed with the face of Christ and the text Hijos del Nazareno*.

And all, from 13 years and up, have come to prove themselves macho in the roughest, rowdiest, ruggedest procession in the city’s year. And what a spectacle it is: that rumbling sea of heads in the midst of which, now sinking and now rising, now tottering and now falling, now rushing and now lagging, suddenly appears uplifted over the tumult, dark and dazzling, terrible and triumphant: the Lord of Downtown.”

Continue reading, The Manila Times Internet Edition article on feast of the Black Nazarene.

Listen to the official Song of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno

Quiapo 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, 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 vice-rector Fr. Fernando Carpio and parochial vicar Fr. Alvin Fullon.

When Governor General Santiago de Vera founded the District of Quiapo on August 29, 1586, the Franciscan Missionaries built the first church of Quiapo with Bamboo and Nipa. San Pedro Bautista, a Franciscan missionary at that time was one of the founders of the Quiapo church, thus his image is located at one of the side niches of the church. San Pedro Bautista founded many churches in Metro Manila and Laguna. The famous of them all is the one at San Francisco Del Monte, the parish that is named after him and houses the Holy Cave for missionaries that went to China and Japan during those days. Unfortunately, this church was burned in 1639. Rebuilding and repairs at intervals gave the parish a stronger edifice which the earthquake of 1863 partially destroyed. Under the supervision of Fathers Eusebio de Leon and Manuel Roxas, the third church was completed in 1899, with Fr. Roxas raising PhP. 40,000.00 from contributions. In the fire of October 30, 1928, the church was left in ruins leaving its scarred walls and belfry. Dona Encarnacion Nakpil de Orense, head of the Parish Committee, raised funds for the reconstruction of the church and National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil was made responsible for the church's rebuilding. Miraculously, the church survived the ravages of the Second World War, despite its surrounding buildings being completely destroyed.

Church Murder

In 1975 Bishop Hernando Antiporda was appointed parish priest. He was just beginning to make improvements in the parish when he was brutally murdered, together with assistant parish priest, Rev. Fr. Raymundo Costales in the early morning of December 13, 1975. Robbery was believed to be the motive. The culprits strangled the bishop with a cord, and they stabbed the co-adjutor on the neck with a broken bottle.


To meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of churchgoers, Msgr. Jose Abriol, together with Architect Jose Ma. Zaragoza and Engr. Eduardo Santiago, worked hard in 1984 to have the parish church and national shrine remolded. Thus this sacred edifice has doubled in holding capacity and has acquired a most sturdy columnless structure and modern architectural beauty. Cardinal Sin blessed it on September 28, 1987. The year after, Quiapo Church was declared the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. The Papal Nuncio, Most Rev. Bruno Torpigliani, blessed the altar of San Lorenzo Ruiz on February 1, 1988.

The Black Nazarene

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.

The Quiapo Church holds a weekly novena every Friday and a procession every year on January 9 devoted to the Black Nazarene. Both are attended by thousands of devotees. Many sick people come to see the Black Nazarene, hoping that getting a chance to pray in front of its miraculous image would heal their sicknesses.

*Los Hijos de Nazareno are the men on top of the Carroza with the Black Nazarene during the procession. *Carroza is the mechanized platform where the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno is on during the procession.

Links: Manila City Government , Quiapo, Manila, Map of Manila City, The History of the Black nazarene, Roman Catholicism in the Philippines, Christianity in the Philippines and Un articulo en Diario de Manila (en Castellano).

Source: Wikipedia & Manila Times
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