Quiapo Church as international shrine? CBCP head says he won’t be surprised

February 4, 2024 - 10:48 AM
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Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila receives the decree of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines declaring the Quiapo Church as a national shrine from CBCP president Bishop Pablo Virgilio David during Mass on Jan. 29, 2024. (CBCP News)

With Black Nazarene devotees spread throughout the world, a ranking church official said he wouldn’t be surprised if Quiapo Church would be declared an international shrine.

READ: Solemn declaration of Quiapo Church as national shrine slated January 29

Speaking during Mass declaring the church as a national shrine, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan hinted at the possibility of the place of worship being elevated to international shrine status.

“I would not be surprised if in a few years this national shrine would also be declared as an international shrine,” David said.

He then encouraged the devotees that if they wished for the church to attain an international stature then, they should join in prayer.

“Let us pray for it,” David added.

About 70 bishops from across the country, including papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, joined the Mass presided over by Cardinal Jose Advincula, the archbishop of Manila.

In July 2023, the CBCP approved Advincula’s petition to designate the home of the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene as the nation’s 29th national shrine.

The shrine’s rector, Fr. Rufino “Jun” Sescon Jr said that even before the formal declaration as a national shrine, the church had long been a “shrine”.

“This church has become holy ground ever since the Nazarene came here,” Sescon said.

The annual procession of the Black Nazarene is a deeply revered religious event held on Jan. 9 each year, drawing millions of devotees to the streets.

This year alone, over six million devotees turned out for the procession in Manila.

“This is truly a shrine because of the fervent faith of the devotees and overflowing grace and mercy from the Lord,” the priest also said.