Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

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Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

The Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño or Basilica Minore del Santo Niño is a 16th century church in Cebu City in the Philippines. It was built purportedly on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño, a sculpture depicting the Holy Child Jesus found by Spanish explorers in 1565 preserved in a burned wooden box which was left behind during the 1521 Magellan expedition.

History

The church of Santo Niño de Cebu was founded by an Augustinian priest, Andrés de Urdaneta on April 28, 1565. The first church structure was built out of earth, hard wood and nipa in 1566 ordered by Friar Diego de Herrera. In 1735, Fernando Valdés y Tamon, the Governor of Cebu, ordered the church to be constructed of hard stone, which was built in the same spot were the previous church stood. Construction was completed in 1739. In 1965, during the fourth centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines, Pope Paul VI elevated the church to the rank of minor basilica.

The Basilica remains under the care of the Order of St. Augustine.

Museum

A museum inside the Basilica showcases the history of Christianity in Cebu. Antique objects are on display, including century-old furniture, priestly vestments and the Santo Nino's old cloaks donated by individuals over the centuries. Religious articles such as statues and relics are also displayed and other items of daily life from the adjacent convento. Several toys may also be seen; these are said to be presents to the Child Jesus, as well as a large Santo Niño rosary composed of 15 beads.

Photos
  • View of Basilica of Santo Niño, Cebu City, Philippines.