The church houses the image of the Sto. Niño, the city’s patron saint that represents Jesus as a black Holy Child.
Basílica Menor del Santo Niño de Cebú, commonly known as Santo Niño Basilica, is a basilica in Cebu City in the Philippines that was founded in 1565 by Fray Andrés de Urdaneta and Fray Diego de Herrera. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, allegedly built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú was found during the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi. This image of the Child Jesus is the same presented by Ferdinand Magellan to the chief consort of Rajah Humabon on the occasion of their royal Baptism to Roman Catholicism on 14 April 1521. Pope Paul VI made the church a basilica in 1965, he declared it to be “the symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines. The present building was completed from 1739–1740, and was designated by the Holy See as the “Mother and Head of all Churches in the Philippines.