SIX months since being granted such a title by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) is set to be formally declared as a “national shrine” on January 29.
In a social media post, the Quiapo Church announced that it has already received the decree of the CBCP on Thursday, December 14, with the formal declaration being set in late January 2024.
"We have officially received from the CBCP the Decree of Establishment as a 'National Shrine' through Msgr. Bernando Pantin, CBCP Secretary General. Receiving the Decree is our Rector and Parish Priest Fr. Jun Sescon," said Quiapo Church.
"The solemn declaration is set on January 29, 2024," it added.
It was back in May 10, 2023 when Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula granted Quiapo Church with the title of “Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene”.
Come July 2023, members of the CBCP gathered for the 126th Plenary Assembly, wherein they approved the petition to declare the Quiapo Church as a "national shrine."
Located in the district of Quiapo in the City of Manila, it is known as the home of the centuries-old and much revered image of the Black Nazarene.
Thousands of devotees flock the Quiapo Church on a daily basis, especially during Fridays, which is popularly known as "Quiapo Day".
Across the country and even in some parts of the world, its January 9 feast day is known to attract millions of devotees and pilgrims to join the annual "traslacion" or the grand procession of the image of the black Christ.
Under the Canon Law, a church can be called a national shrine after the conference of bishops gives its approval.
Any church or other sacred place can be declared a shrine if there are numerous members of the faithful making pilgrimage for a special reason of piety.
The Canon Law states that the means of salvation in shrines are "to be supplied more abundantly to the faithful" during the celebration of the Eucharist, of penance, and the cultivation of approved forms of popular piety. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)