The parish of St. Niño, in Manila, Philippines was destroyed by a serious accidental fire on the 10th July, 2020. The church was located in the Pandacan district of Manila.
"Let us pray for the immediate recovery of the parish. It is good news that no one was injured and that no other buildings were damaged", said Bishop Pabillo in a statement.
The parish was built by the Franciscan friar Father Francisco del Rosario in 1732, and it contained a statue of the Child Jesus which dates back to four centuries ago. It was a place of pilgrimage and devotion for thousands of faithful.
The local parish priest, Father de Claro urged the parishioners "to be strong in this tragedy": "Let us start again and build the marker of our faith. Stop crying. Let us get up, stronger and united", he said, explaining that the fire did not damage the tabernacle of the consecrated hosts.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, administrator of the Manila archdiocese, urged Catholics to join him in prayer “for the immediate recovery of the parish” from the tragedy. “But it’s good that no one was hurt and no other houses were damaged,” Bishop Pabillo said in a statement posted on the archdiocese’s website.
The blaze, which stared at the back of the church at around 1:19pm, was declared under control at 1:44pm. Bishop Pabillo personally visited the area and urged parishioners to support the rebuilding of the church. As of Saturday, no words yet from the archdiocese or from the parish whether the historical image of the Sto. Niño was among those damaged in the fire. The image is believed to be more than 400 years old, the statue is carved out of dark wood that is similar to the dark Mexican wood of the images of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo and the Black Madonna of Antipolo. The archdiocese said the image was brought to the Philippines by the Spaniards via galleon trade from Acapulco, Mexico to Manila.
Edited from reports by CBCP and Fides