QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES – The Basilica Minore de Santuario de San Pedro Bautista in San Francisco del Monte Quezon City is one of the roots of Christianity in the Diocese of Cubao. Last September 14, 2020, it was declared a minor basilica, being the second in Cubao. During the declaration led by His Excellency Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco DD, Bishop of Cubao, he emphasized that being a minor basilica is not just about the historical and patrimonial value of the church, but more about its role and mission in evangelization. “Becoming a minor basilica is not only about its historical and patrimonial importance but more than anything, it is a recognition of its special role and mission in evangelization,” Bishop Ongtioco said in his homily.
He also added that “being a basilica is not only an honor and privilege” but it also carries the “obligation to service.” By our service, he said that we are “sharing in the martyrdom of San Pedro Bautista – to bear witness to the Cross.”
Only a limited number of faithful were allowed to gather inside the church during the declaration of Santuario de San Pedro Bautista as a minor basilica because of the restrictions implemented due to the COVID-19 threat. Some who really wanted to witness the momentous event were asked to stay outside the church and watch the solemn declaration over the LED screen. Live streaming was also made available for those who really could not go to the church.
Despite the difficulty, the prelate still invites the faithful to visit the Minor Basilica at some other time, especially for those who want to find rest and solitude because the church “has always been a place of rest and healing for troubled souls.” He firmly believes that especially in this time of pandemic, people who are troubled, restless, and depressed will find the solace and peace that San Pedro Bautista found in the church that he built in San Francisco del Monte more than 400 years ago. “May all who visit this church find that same solace and peace that can only come from the assurance and consolation San Pedro Bautista found in the cross of Christ – the love that heals, the love that consoles, that love which knows no bounds.”