Friday, January 8, 2010

The Feast of the Black Nazarene

Around 3 million devotees are expected to join today's celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.

I haven't had the opportunity to be at the actual procession but the different scenes shown on tv every year picturing millions of people crowding, pushing and shoving their way just to touch the statue always amazes me.

The Black Nazarene, a black image of Jesus Christ carrying a cross is the patron saint of Quiapo, Manila. The Archdiocese of Manila reveals that the image was brought to the Philippines by a Spanish priest in 1607. The ship that carried the image caught fire but despite it's burnt condition, the people decided to honor it. Soon miraculous healings were reported by those who touched it.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales will lead the Mass at the Quirino Grandstand at 8:00 a.m. The procession that covers 6.3 km is expected to pass 30 streets in Manila mostly in the Quiapo district.

Millions of people annually join the procession as a way of strengthening their faith or fulfilling their vow. Some also believe that touching the Nazarene will bring them luck.

A Philippine stamp featuring the Black Nazarene was released on August 29, 1986. This issue also includes the Quiapo Church.

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