“Discover the beauty and history of Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz..”
Popularly known as Binondo Church, the Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz is situated in Binondo district of Manila in front of Plaza Calderon de La Barca. Many parishioners also called the church as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. In 1596, the Dominican priests founded the church to be able to serve the Chinese people who converted into Christians. During the British bombardment in 1762, the original structure was destroyed by a fire. The church was rebuilt in 1852 using granite materials on the exact site. However, the Binondo Church was severely damaged when the World War II happened leaving only the western facade as well as the octagonal bell tower standing still.
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, was trained in this particular church. He first served as an altar boy then became a member of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. The masses in the church are in three different dialects, such as Filipino, Chinese (Mandarin and Hokkien) and English.
During the Spanish colonization, many Chinese traders decided to live in Manila thus increasing its population. As the Chinese community increased, the Catholic Missionaries decided to manage the conversion of these people to Christian faith.
Several natural disasters and wars tested the structure of the church. But it was able to sustained the damages. During the 18th century, there were improvements carried out but unfortunately, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1863. The bell tower consisted of five stories in an octagonal shape and a mirador (viewing window) at the top. Before the wars took place, the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz was regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in the entire country. It was reconstructed numerous times after every calamity.
Between 1946 and 1971, the church and its convent were renovated to bring back its beauty and to make it a comfortable place to held masses. Both locals and foreigners are enticed to visit the church to learn its history.