QUEZON CITY – This is how Rev. Fr. Ireneo Tactac, III, OFM, described the declaration of the Santuario de San Pedro Bautista as a minor basilica. Fr. Tactac, Parish Priest of San Pedro Bautista, felt edified that the aspirations of the people would finally be fulfilled after he received the decree from the Vatican granting the elevation. He said that this recognition from the Holy Father is very important for the people of San Francisco del Monte because it is an affirmation of their faith in the Lord which came from the preaching of San Pedro Bautista when he first lived in their community. “This is a divine providence, God’s grace for us that He affirms to the people. [They] become faithful to their faith that San Pedro Bautista faithfully lived out and preach in his time, and that charism continues [up to] this time, to people living in the place of San Francisco del Monte,” Father Tactac said over an interview with the Diocese of Cubao Social Communications Ministry.
The Basilica Minore de Santuario de San Pedro Bautista is one of the oldest churches in the Diocese of Cubao. It was on February 17, 1590 when Fray Pedro Bautista y Blasquez, OFM built the first church made of bamboo and nipa at San Francisco del Monte, presently located in Quezon City. After his missionary assignment in the Philippines, San Pedro Bautista was sent to Japan, and there he became a martyr. To honor the saint who built the church in San Francisco del Monte, the parish was named after him when it was declared as a parish on November 12, 1932. The church structures suffered much from earthquakes and war, but the Franciscan friars rebuilt and took care of it.
Last February 25, 2001, the church was declared an Archdiocesan Shrine through the late Abp. Jaime Cardinal Sin of the Archdiocese of Manila. It was in 2016 when the former parish priest Fr. Edwin Peter Dionisio, OFM first ignited the aspirations of the faithful by beginning the process of applying for the parish church to become a minor basilica. After thorough research and review of the documents submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican, the current parish priest Fr. Tactac finally received the decree granting the elevation to minor basilica of the Santuario de San Pedro last July 9, 2020. At present, the Basilica Minore de Santuario de San Pedro Bautista is the 17th church elevated to become a minor basilica in the Philippines. It is also the second minor basilica in the Diocese of Cubao, following the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel which was declared a minor basilica last March 25, 2019.
The formal declaration on the elevation to become a minor basilica of the Santuario de San Pedro Bautista will be on September 14, 2020 at 5:00 PM, it will be led by His Excellency Most Reverend Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD, Bishop of Cubao.