DMTX. Millions of barefooteed devotees of the Black Nazarene gathered in Manila on Saturday to fulfill their ‘panata’ or vow and celebrate the annual feast. The image mounted on a red carriage was bro
Millions of barefooteed devotees of the Black Nazarene gathered in Manila on Saturday to fulfill their ‘panata’ or vow and celebrate the annual feast. The image mounted on a red carriage was brought back to its present shrine at Quiapo Church through a huge procession of devotees. Manila, Philippines. 09/01/2010.
Millions of devotees of the Black Nazarene gathered in Manila on Saturday, January 9, to fulfill their ‘panata’ or vow and to celebrate the annual feast of the Black Nazarene. The Feast of the Black Nazarene is the single largest festival of Roman Catholics in the country. The image mounted on a red carriage was brought back to its present shrine at Quiapo Church through a huge procession of a less than 2 millions barefooted devotees. At about 8:30 AM after the mass celebration devotees started the 6.3 kilometers procession which took them until 8:00 o clock in the evening before it entered its shrine.
During the procession, devotees will try to touch the images or at least will be able to have their towels or handkerchiefs be wipe or rub to the images with the belief of miraculous gains; ensure health and protection from harm; and atonement from sins. With this, the struggle to get near the Black Nazarene is too tough that scores of them get hurt and wounded and die. The annual festivities claimed lives yearly, with two lives sacrificed this year.
Replicas of the statute were also brought to the procession for those who will not be able to touch the original one. Children of devotees were also enjoined to instill to the young and eventually pass on the ‘panata’ or vow by their parents to the Nazareno.
The Black Nazarene statue was brought to Manila by the first group of Augustinian Recollect friars on May 31, 1606. The image was originally housed in the first Recollect church in Bagumbayan (now part of the Rizal Park), which was established on September 10, 1606, and placed under the patronage of Saint Juan Bautista Saint John the Baptist.
In 1608, the image of the "Nazareno" was transferred to the second, bigger Recollect church dedicated to San Nicolas de Tolentino (Saint Nicholas of Tolentine). The Recollect Fathers dynamically promoted devotion to the Suffering of Our Lord represented by the image that in fifteen short years, the Cofradia de Santo Cristo Jesús Nazareno was established on April 21, 1621. The confraternity obtained Papal approval on April 20, 1650, from Pope Innocent X.
Sometime in the year 1787, then Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho de Santas Junta y Rufina, ordered the transfer of the image of the Nazareno to the church in Quiapo, again providently placed under the patronage of Saint John the Baptist.
The Black Nazarene made a lot of miraculous things. These are the survival of the image from the great fires that destroyed Quiapo Church in 1791 and 1929, the great earthquakes of 1645 and 1863, and the destructive United States Forces Bombing of Manila in 1945 during World War II. Today the head and the cross stay on the Altar Mayor of the Minor Basilica. It is ‘black’ due to its color black which is believed to be incurred when the ship that carrying it going to Manila was caught on fire.