The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying the cross, while representing his passion and suffering and is believed to be miraculous by many Filipino Catholics. Originally white, the recent black complexion of the Black Nazarene was believed to be the result of a fire from the galleon ship in which it was boarded upon its arrival on Mexico. The feast of the Black Nazarene is celebrated every January 9 which commemorates the “Traslacion” (passage) transfer of the Black Nazarene to its present location within the Quiapo church. Also, it is not only on January 9 where devotees remember the Black Nazarene but every Friday of the year with novenas and masses held at Quiapo shrine and other churches throughout the country.
Furthermore, the Black Nazarene was boarded on a carriage called ‘andas’ (a Spanish word meaning to go forward). The carriage was surrounded with ropes pulled by men called ‘namamasan’. Many devotees believed that if anyone who can climb and touch the image, it could heal serious illness. Some who could not make it atop would throw towels at the guards with request to wipe the towels at the statue for it is believed to have healing powers.
Adherence of the feast is filled with religious fervour. This year, an estimated number of 500,000 barefooted devotees attended the parade and after it reached Quiapo church, the followers converged into 9 million. The Philippine National Red Cross reported a total of 1,484 treated people during the celebration. PRC also reported that out of the total number of treated devotees, 816 people sustained minor injuries while 36 only bore serious injuries and 11 persons were brought to the hospital for treatment.
By these figures, I could say that this tradition is deeply rooted among Filipinos. This is what made the identity of Filipinos. By their great devotion and piety, the feast of the black Nazarene became one of the most attended annual religious gatherings in the...
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