Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
The life-size image of the Christ clad in a maroon-colored robe, with a crown of thorns and a diadem in the form of three silver rays, bearing a big wooden cross, is in a semi-kneeling position indicating His struggle to stand up and with a heavy load a fall. His whole face, eyes, mouth, manifest the writhing pain He suffered and portrays a calling for someone to help Him carry the heavy cross. Anyone who focuses his eyes for some time on this image of Christ will be irresistibly moved with pity. And if he contemplates for a little more times, Christ, as represented by the image, will seem to tell him,” Look at me, your Lord, your God, See how I suffer carrying this heavy cross after having been flogged. Remember, it is not of my own making that I undergo suffering. It is for you, in order to bring you to heaven. This cross is heavy because of your sins. Will you ease my burden by atoning for your sins?”
Perhaps Christ will also tell him, “if you wish to become a true Christian, take up your cross, too, and follow me.” And he seems to assure him “Tell me your troubles, your needs, and problems, and I will be ever ready to help you.” The dynamic appearance of the image inspires countless number of people to develop the devotion to this image of Christ, popularly called the “Nazarene” because he was from Nazareth. It is the faith in Christ and the favors granted that intensify and preserve this devotion.
There is no definite account as to the origin of the statue of Christ bearing the ignominious cross, popularly known as NUESTRO PADRE JESUS NAZARENE, (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 Church of Quiapo
In the early years of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Quiapo district was a marshy place crisscrossed by canals, thereby forming several islets. It was principally a fishing village with some portions planted to vegetables. Upon name Quiapo is derived from a water lily locally called “Kiapo” which grew abundantly in the canals and marshes. It is different from the water lily that we see nowadays floating in the Pasig River.
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.
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.
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jose C. Abriol also instituted many improvements, the most outstanding of which is the construction of four concrete building at R. Hidalgo St., to house the Parochial School which has tremendously improved under the management of the Sisters of St. Paul de Charters.
To meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of churchgoers, he worked hard for the expansion and renovation of the parish church and national shrine and thus this sacred edifice has doubled in holding capacity and has acquired a most sturdy columnless structure and modern architectural beauty.
Today, Quiapo Church has remodeled and acquired the adjacent properties to cater to the growing needs of its parishioners and devotees. Its programs are increasing in order to respond to the growing needs of those who come to this church.
Devotion to the Black Nazarene
The Quiapo Church holds a weekly novena every Friday and is attended by thousands of devotees. On January 9, the parish commemorates the “TRASLACION”, or the transfer of the image from Luneta (formerly Bagumbayan) to Quiapo. This event is participated by Millions of Devotees while Quiapo Church holds Novena of Masses before the event. 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. Others come for various intentions and the answers as well as the miracles are attributed to the special presence of Our Lord in the Shrine. Daily hourly masses are celebrated and devotees from all over the country would always pass by the Church of Quiapo. Every Thursday before First Fridays, healing Services are conducted with priests administering the blessings. Confessions are readily available beginning 8am until 7pm.
History of 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, 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.
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.
The Church of light materials was burned due to the rebellion of the Chinese.
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.
The Church was destroyed due to strong earthquake.
The Archbishop of Manila, Bermudez G. de Castro received the Pallium from the Bishop of Cagayan.
The Recollect Fathers who had a confraternity of Jesus Nazarene in Intramuros present the Image of Nazarene during the incumbency of Archbishop Basilio Sancho.
The Church was burned.
Church together with many buildings and Manila Cathedral were demolished.
Construction of Stone Church began by Father Eusebio de Leon and terminated by Father Manual Roxas.
Church was destroyed by fire and constructed began by Father Magdaleno Castillo, as per plans by architect Juan Nakpil in1933.
Bishop Hernando Y. Antiporda and Father Raymundo Costalas were murdered.
Msgr. Jose C. Abriol constructed three buildings of Quiapo Parochial School at R. Hidalgo which were managed by the Sister of St. Paul de Chartres.
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.
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.
Through the generosity of the people of Quaipo and Devotees of the Nazareno. Five Bronze Bells and Three Electronic Clocks were acquired from Holland.
Sacerdotal Golden Julbilee of Msgr. Abriol