Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz
Popularly known as Binondo Church, the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz was established by the Dominicans in 1596 and initially dedicated to Saint Gabriel the Archangel who became Binondo’s patron until the mid-19th century. It is also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish as it venerates the Blessed Virgin Mary as Binondo’s patroness from the early 1700s up to the present.
The church became the center of the then newly-created arrabal or village of Binondo which former Governor General Luis Perez Dasmariñas created as a gift for Sangleys or Chinese of Parian and Baybay (the present-day Tondo) who converted to Christianism. It is also here that Filipino protomartyr Lorenzo Ruiz shaped his Christian faith as he worked as altar server, sacristan and escribano before his fateful journey and death in Japan on September 28, 1637.
The current church is the sixth structure since 1596 as its previous buildings were either severely damaged or totally destroyed by earthquakes, fires and armed conflicts brought by foreign invaders for the past four centuries. The Binondo Church that we are all familiar with was finished in 1985 after decades of rehabilitation since 1946, two years after it was ravaged by fire during the September 22, 1944 bombing of downtown Manila.
The historic 1981 beatification and 1987 canonization of San Lorenzo Ruiz has become a huge blessing for the church that he once considered as spiritual home. On July 23, 1992, His Holiness Pope John Paul II granted Binondo Church the title of “minor basilica” in honor of the first Filipino saint. It is the 10th minor basilica in the Philippines and the 4th in the Archdiocese of Manila.
The Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz has become the venue of some important events in the modern history of Philippine Christianism. Binondo Church was honored to host the thanksgiving mass and official presentation of the document declaring Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo as “Venerable” on February 1, 2008, presided by the Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. It is also here where Archbishop Emeritus of Manila and the current Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, formally opened Caritas Internationalis’ Global Week of Action on June 17, 2018.
Aside from San Lorenzo Ruiz, Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario and the Venerable Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, Binondo Church also keeps two long-time devotions which started from the defunct Iglesia de los Santos Reyes in Parian (located at the present Post Office Building in Lawton) and transferred after the devastating earthquake in 1863: the devotion to Nuestra Señora del Pronto Socorro and to Santo Cristo de Longos.
In commemoration of the 5th centenary of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, the “Protomartyr’s Home” was once again take part in this memorable milestone in our faith as it was chosen as one of the 12 Jubilee Churches of the Archdiocese of Manila. Binondo Church commenced this grand celebration by opening the Holy Door on April 25, 2021 led by former Apostolic Administrator Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D.
Post-War Parish Priests
Rev. Msgr. Narciso Gatpayad
Rev. Msgr. Pacifico Ma. Mendoza
Rev. Msgr. Federico Navarro
Rev. Msgr. Feliciano Santos
Rev. Msgr. Agerico Galang
Rev. Msgr. Josefino Ramirez (First Rector)
Rev. Msgr. Geronimo Reyes
Rev. Fr. Andy Ortega Lim