Feast of the Black Nazarene

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Event Date: 
01/09/2012

The feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 is considered one of the most spectacular religious events that take place in the Philippine history. Every year thousands of devotees from all walks of life come to the district of Quiapo to take part in the procession as a way of strengthening their faith or fulfilling their “panata” (vow) to Lord.

The Black Nazarene is the patron saint of Quiapo, a small but well-known part of Manila, a hub of trade and commerce because of the Quiapo market and the many stores located there.The life size image of the Black Nazarene shows a “black” Jesus Christ carrying a cross. The statue has been housed at the Saint John de Baptist Church in Quiapo, Manila also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene since 1787. The image of the Black Nazarene is brought out in procession on its feast day and Good Friday.

 

Feast of the Black Nazarene

Source

The statue was brought to Manila by a Spanish priest in 1607 aboard a ship. The ship caught fire, burning the image and thus came to be known as the Black Nazarene. Though the image was burnt, the people decided to preserve and honor it. Since then, miraculous things have been reported to those who touch the image.The celebration starts as the huge door of Quiapo Church opens and the image of the Black Nazarene is within sight. The ocean of devotees start to yell “Viva Señor” while some wave white towel high in the air along with the scripture of the Black Nazarene.

The statue is placed in a gilded carriage for the procession. As the procession starts, procession participants garbed in maroon tops grab two long ropes and pull it to make the carriage move. Many will attempt to touch the image while some throw their handkerchiefs and towels in the air. People who join in the procession walk barefooted as a sign of humility.

The devotion to the Black Nazarene is long time practice of the Filipino Catholics and they believe that through their faith with Jesus Christ, there will be peace and harmony among families, long life and good health among people, deliverance from all calamities and disasters, and prosperity, joy and love among nations.

Source: www.rcam.org

Teaser photo source: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com