Jul. 05, 2023 01:07 PM
The newly-adorned side altar of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene this 435th Patronal Feast on June 24, 2023 (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
June 24, 2023 — The Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene celebrates its 435th Parish Fiesta in honor of St. John the Baptist. The 12:15 noon Fiesta Mass was presided over by His Eminence Jose F. Cardinal Advincula, D.D., Archbishop of Manila. It is a joyful celebration that culminates the few weeks of preparation, starting from its logistics and programs to the liturgical and spiritual side of the celebration.
From left to right: Rev. Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr., Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene; Rev. Fr. Reynante Tolentino, International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage; Rev. Fr. Dionisio N. Balote, OCD, Minor Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Rev. Fr. Crisostomo Magbintang, SDB, National Shrine and Parish of Mary Help of Christians (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Part of the series of events in the parish fiesta celebration was the Barangay Mass Visitations with the image of St. John the Baptist being transferred from one community to the other, started on June 20 and continued until June 24, 2023. Meanwhile, the Novena Mass celebrations began from June 15 up to June 23, 2023, presided over first by Rev. Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr., Rector and Parish Priest of the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene, followed by the succeeding celebrants who are rectors of various shrines, respectively: Rev. Fr. Virgilio Del Mundo, OFM, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish, Sta. Ana, Manila; Rev. Fr. Reynante Tolentino, International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Antipolo; Rev. Fr. Alex Vitualla, SVD, National Shrine of St. Jude Thadeus, J.P. Laurel, Manila; Rev. Fr. Dionisio N. Balote, OCD, Minor Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, New Manila, Quezon City; Rev. Fr. Crisostomo Magbintang, SDB, National Shrine and Parish of Mary Help of Christians, Better Living, Parañaque; Rev. Fr. Rico John Bilangel, CSSR, National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Baclaran Parañaque City; Rev. Fr. Jefferson E. Agustin, OFM Cap, National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City; and lastly, Rev. Fr. Jhoen Buenaventura, National Shrine of St. John Paul II, Hermosa, Bataan.
Furthermore, what makes this year’s parish fiesta special from a normal sense is because of these two major reasons: 1) Installation and Blessing of the Papal Insignia: the Tintinnabulum and the Umbraculum, and (2) Return of the original life-sized image of St. John the Baptist to its home in Quiapo Church after almost 40 years.
The Blessing and Installation of the Papal Insignia: Tintinabulum and Umbraculum:
The rites of blessing and installation of the Tintinnabulum and the Umbraculum were graced by Cardinal Advincula Jr. right after he delivered his homily. Ref. Fr. Robert Arellano, LRMS, Parochial Vicar, read the introduction of the rites of blessing which was followed by the solemn procession from the center aisle of the church leading towards the sanctuary led by Rev. Fr. Jonathan Noel Mojica, Parochial Vicar, who served as the head liturgist of the fiesta mass with the Cardinal.
Tintinnabulum of the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The Tintinnabulum represents the Shrine’s status as a Minor Basilica. In the past, during papal processions, the tintinnabulum would be rung to let people know the Holy Father was approaching.
Umbraculum of the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The Umbraculum, throughout the world, basilicas employ the distinctive umbrellino insignia. The silk canopy is decorated with red and yellow stripes which is the traditional papal colors that represent the authority of the Pope. During processions in the Middle Ages, the umbraculum would be borne above the Holy Father. As a sign of preparation to receive the Holy Father, the umbraculum remains slightly open after being positioned.
The solemn procession wherein altar servers are carrying the tintinnabulum and umbraculum to the altar during the unveiling of the Papal Insignia as representations of the shrine’s bestowed title of Minor Basilica (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The status of a shrine-basilica is very significant in the life and faith of the faithful, which is expected to serve as the sacred canopy of the faithful where they can recharge spiritually from the prevalent secular language of the world. According to Bro. Kendrick Ivan Panganiban, the author of the book “The Role of Shrines in View of the New Evangelization: Pope Francis Theology on Shrines and Pilgrimages Applied in the Philippine Context”, said: “A shrine and a minor basilica are different in function. A Minor Basilica is recognized as churches “that have particular importance for liturgical and pastoral life” and “signifying their particular link with the Roman Church and the Supreme Pontiff“ (Domus Ecclesiae, 1989). The recognition of the church as a shrine is different in nature. Shrines are not included in the normal list of churches stated above because they are of extraordinary character as “sacred places visited by pilgrims due to popular piety” (cf. Canon 1320, 1983 CIC). Thus, in terms of rank, shrines are treated differently from basilicas. They are of a separate hierarchy from rankings of churches with titles from the Holy See as per Canon Law. So, the declaration of said church as a shrine is an expansion of the privileges the church could grant in terms of indulgences as well as to recognize the already inherent devotion to the Black Nazarene.
Given the status as a Shrine-Basilica, Cardinal Advincula Jr. challenged the entire community of devotees and parishioners in his sermon to imitate St. John the Baptist in deepening our relationship with Jesus and to stand for the truth of Jesus amidst this fleeting secular world:
H.E. Cardinal Jose Advincula Jr. D.D., Archbishop of Manila delivers his homily during the 435th Patronal Fiesta of the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene in honor of its patron Saint John the Baptist (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
“Mga kapatid, tularan natin ang ating patrong si San Juan Bautista. Huwag tayong magpadala sa agos ng uso o sa bugso ng tukso. Pangatawanan natin ang pagiging kaibigan ni Hesus, panindigan natin ang katotohanan ni Hesus. Kung lalaliman natin ang pakikipagkaibigan natin kay Hesus, makikilala at makikilatis nating maigi ang katotohanan. Bilang kaibigan ni Hesus, lubusan nating maisasapuso ang buong katotohanan sa gitna ng mundong malabo at pabago-bago. Magpapa-totoo tayo sa Kanya kahit sa harap ng pasakit o pag-uusig, pagkakaibigan at katotohanan.”(Brethren, let us imitate our patron St. John the Baptist. Let us not be carried by the course of what is trending or the burst of temptation. Let us exert great effort in our friendship with Jesus; let us stand for the truth of Jesus. If we are going to deepen our friendship with Jesus, we will be able to know at scrutinize thoroughly the truth. Being friends of Jesus, let us put in our hearts the whole truth in the midst of the world that is uncertain and fleeting. Let us be the witness of Him even if we are confronted by suffering or persecution, friendship and truth.”)
The Return of the Original Image of St. John the Baptist
The original image of St. John the Baptist enshrined in the old retablo of the altar of Quiapo Church in 1898 is finally returned home after forty years (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Another moving event took place during the very day of the parish fiesta, when Rev. Fr. Sescon Jr. announced to the congregation the return of the original image of St. John the Baptist, titular parish patron of the Quiapo Church. Fr. Sescon said further that people are familiar with the Quiapo Church with its façade and the altar being seen daily. The church’s façade and the sanctuary were established in 1933 after the fire in 1929. However, before it was erected, there was an old church in Quiapo in 1898 with an old retablo mounting the old image of the Black Nazarene and the image of St. John the Baptist that was placed above.
As to welcome back the original image of St. John the Baptist, the moving emotion steered up among the congregation after Rev. Fr. Sescon Jr. mentioned:
Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr., Rector & Parish Priest announces the return of the original image of St. John the Baptist, which is blessed by H.E. Cardinal Jose Advincula Jr., D.D. before the congregation (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
“Ngayon, matapos ang halos 40 taon, may magbabalik. Sa katunayan, nagbabalik na siya sa kanyang tahanan dito sa Quiapo.“(Now, after almost forty years, someone is coming back. In fact, he is coming back home now here in Quiapo.”
Everybody stood up with warm applause as the image was processioned from the center aisle of the church by the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Parish in Tipas, Taguig, as a symbolic turning over of the antique image towards the altar to be blessed by His Eminence Cardinal Advincula. Fr. Sescon then thanked Bishop Milo Hubert Vergara of the Diocese of Pasig, Rev. Fr Glenn Gabucayan, the parish priest, together with Rev. Fr. Daniel Estacio and Adam Arellano, who are natives of the said community, and the Parish community of St. John the Baptist, the Bamboo Shrine of Tipas, Taguig for their kindness to allow the original image of St. John the Baptist to be back in Quiapo. The Quiapo community will take this as a special favor owed to them.
The Festival Side of the Celebration
The blessing of the newly-built chapel and priest oratory after the 12:15 n.n. Solemn Mass celebration by H.E. Cardinal Advincula Jr. D.D. (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
After the 12:15 noon Solemn Mass, H.E. Cardinal Jose Advincula Jr. D.D. blessed the newly built chapel and hall room on the third floor of the Cardinal Sin Building, as well as the priest oratory in what used to be the Records’ office on the second floor of the same building.
Simultaneously, the Barrio Fiesta commenced as facilitated by Mr. Adrian Hapa, Liturgy Supervisor. Twenty-two (22) food booths gracing the entrance towards the parish vacant lot set up by the following ministries and organizations: Hijos Del Nazareno groups (Central, Basilica, ANPON, MBBN, Bukluran & NPJN), Ministry of Greeters and Collectors, EOMHC, Ladies of the Black Nazarene (LBN), Ministry of the Word, Music Ministry, Mother Butler Guild, CWL, QCMAM, FLM/BEC, MBS, LOM, Love Flock, Responders, COLL, Apostolado ng Panalangin and St. Peter. The Barrio Fiesta showcased all the varieties of foods and other delicacies prepared commonly every Filipino fiesta celebration: ‘kakanin’, pasta noodles, lechon, lumpia shanghai, chicken, pancit, puto, biko, sapin-sapin, vegetable salad with macaroni, grilled bangus, leching manok, sisig baboy, appetizers and street foods.
Meanwhile, another simultaneously ongoing Barrio event was the Palarong Pambata held at the Plaza San Juan spearheaded by the Formation Ministry headed by Mr. John Paul Mendoza together with the Ministry’s priest-in-charge, Rev. Fr. Hans Magdurulang, Parochial Vicar. The street children participated in the program line-up throughout this prepared fiesta game set: two (2) rounds of Egg Catching, four (4) rounds of ‘Pabitin’ and seven (7) rounds of ‘Basagang Palayok’.
‘Karakolista’ from Pateros and community of Quiapo dancing in honor of St. John the Baptist (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The Karakol, or religious dance procession, started at 4:00 p.m. at Plaza Miranda, where the participants moved and swayed with elegance to the tune and rhythm of the religious dance as a form of thanksgiving for all the blessings received, and at the same time, the petitions for different intentions through the intercession of St. John the Baptist. The dance performers dubbed as ‘karakolista’, transformed Plaza Miranda into a colorful and lively stafe for festival in Quiapo with the help of both Mr. Meldrig Costuna, former Parish Youth Ministry (PYM) Coordinator, and Mr. Mendoza of Formation Ministry, who also participated in the Karakol.
The Solemn Procession in celebration of the Blessed Solemnity of Nativity of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Quiapo Church (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
A solemn procession with the image of St. John the Baptist followed at 5:00 p.m., wherein some church staffers, clergy, members of ministries and organizations participated in this activity. The relic of St. John the Baptist was also brought along the procession carried by Mr. Rumell Eijansantos from the Disaster Preparedness and Response Ministry. The procession lasted until 6:15 in the evening.
Energetic and participative audience this SayaJuan at Plaza San Juan culminating this year’s Parish Fiesta 2023 (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The SayaJuan sa Plaza bagan at 7:30 p.m. where both Mr. Costuna and Mr. Mendoza hosted the culminating activity of the Patronal Fiesta 2023. The setting and ambiance looked like a typical barrio fiesta, wherein the fun continued until nighttime. One of the highlights was the ‘Sing-Along’, wherein both randomly selected male and female participants showcased their singing talents, this time with a rented karaoke. Also, the energetic participants from members of the ministries and organizations filled the dance floor with the songs of 90’s disco/dance music like ‘Sumayaw Sumunod’, ‘Buttercup’, ‘Dancing Queen’ etc.
MBBN Arch Making Contest:
Best in Filipiniana Award:
Best in Barong Male: Ricky Dayag (Balangay Collectora)
Best in Food Booth (during the Barrio Fiesta)
Toward the end of the program, the winners of different contests throughout the Fiesta 2023 were announced in the awarding ceremony graced by Mr. Adrian Hapa and Mr. Mark Joseph Veradero, who comprised the Fiesta Committee together with Mr. John Paul Mendoza.
– Alfrein O. Quirionez & Kidanzac A. Tallada | EIAM & ADRM