Tomorrow is the much-awaited event for the devotees of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno or the Black Nazarene as the country celebrates its annual feast. It is one of the most famous celebration in the country were thousands or even millions of devotees are gathered in faith.
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno is known to perform miracles and answers prayers. Devotees believe that by touching the statue, a miracle will happen.
The feast is conducted through a procession of the statue. This procession is considered as the largest procession in the country, and happens every January 9 and Good Friday during lent.
The life-sized statue of Jesus Christ in a semi-kneeling position is placed on a carriage.
The carriage has wheels and is pulled by devotees holding on to two 50-meter-long abaca ropes. The devotees who volunteer for this task are called “mamamasan”.
During the feast of the Black Nazarene, thousands of barefoot men join the annual procession as a sign of humility.
There is also the practice of “pahalik” where devotees wait in long lines to touch the foot of the Black Nazarene.
Definitely, the annual feast of the Black Nazarene influenced the faith of millions of people.
With the growing number of people participating in the feast, chief of the Manila Tourism and Cultural Affairs Burea Liz Villaseñor plans to transform the annual feast into an international pilgrimage event starting next year which will attract more tourists, thus boosting the Tourism economy of the country.
This event is always being televised nationwide. Many prominent people are also participating in the grand procession. It is a good opportunity for the youth to be involved in said activities as well as it widens their perspective regarding tradition and norms of the country and also to participate in religious activities.
Quiapo Church’s Chaplain Msgr. Ignacio Clemente says parish officials are happy to see teenagers in groups participating in the devotion. He also urges the youth to familiarize themselves with the tradition to maintain an orderly procession.
The Black Nazarene procession is truly a unique experience that shows how Filipinos’ are intense in terms of spirituality. It is a tradition that will always remain to the hearts of the Filipinos especially to the devotees of the Black Nazarene. The Black Nazarene symbolizes the Filipinos faith in Catholicism. (contributed by Karlos Kastrillo)