Quiapo Church timeline
The Quiapo Church is formally called the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene and the Parish of St. John the Baptist. Below is the history of the church, as well as the statue of the Black Nazarene and the devotion that revolves around both the church and the statue, according to the website www.quiapochurch.com.
The mission outpost of the Franciscans from Sta. Ana de Sapa became a town by the decree of Governor General Santiago de Vera. Two years later, it became a parish and Fr. Antonio de Nombella became the first pastor of Quiapo Church.
The church made of nipa and bamboo was easily gutted by fire at the height of the Chinese rebellion.
The statue, entrusted to an unknown Recollect priest, was brought across the Pacific Ocean in the hold of a Galleon which arrived in Manila at an undetermined date. They brought with them a dark image of Jesus Christ, upright but kneeling on one knee and carrying a large wooden cross from Mexico. The dark portrayal of Christ reflected the native culture of its Mexican sculptor. The image was enshrined in the first church of the Recoletos at Bagumbayan (Luneta) with St. John the Baptist as patron. The image became known as the Black Nazarene.
A second, bigger, church was built in 1608 by the Recoletos in Intramuros with St. Nicolas Tolentino as its patron saint. The image of the Black Nazarene was transferred to this church and devotion to Him grew.
The devotion to the Black Nazarene began establishing the Cofradia de Jesus Nazareno, a fraternity of respected gentlemen in Manila with strong devotion to the Black Nazarene.
A strong earthquake damaged Quiapo Church.
On April 20, 1650, the strong devotion to the Black Nazarene was recognized by Pope Innocent X, 29 years from its founding date.
Upon the orders of the Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho de Santas Justa y Rufina, the image of the Black Nazarene was transferred to Quiapo Church with St. John de Baptist as patron. Devotion to the Black Nazarene continued to grow and accounts of His miracles became well known throughout the archipelago.
A huge fire burned Quiapo Church, but miraculously the image of the Black Nazarene was not destroyed.
A strong earthquake heavily damaged Quiapo Church and the Manila Cathedral, but the image of the Black Nazarene was spared.