By Leslie Ann Aquino
Devotees chanted in unison when they saw the carroza carrying the image of the Black Nazarene return to Quiapo Church (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene) in Manila hours before noon today.
Yearly thousands of devotees join the different processions of the Nazareno and today’s Good Friday procession was no different.
Clad in maroon and yellow shirts, devotees pushed and shoved just to get near the image and touch it.
Due to the big number of crowd, Quiapo Church Rector Msgr. Hernando “Ding” Coronel kept appealing to those present to make the activity peaceful and orderly.
“I appeal to you to make our celebration orderly, successful, meaningful and peaceful,” he said.
Coronel also reminded those present of the significance of the occasion.
“Today is Good Friday, Christ is carrying His Cross to save us from our sins. Let us be thankful to Him,” he said.
“Let us thank Him for the blessings He gave us and for forgiving our sins,” Coronel added.
Earlier, Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio, former rector of Quiapo Church, explained that the actual liturgical feast of the Black Nazarene is Good Friday.
“The liturgical feast of the Black Nazarene is Good Friday because that is the time that He carries the cross,” he said at that time.
Ignacio said what is being commemorated every January 9 is the “traslacion” or the transfer of the Black Nazarene image from Bagumbayan (old Intramuros) to Quiapo Church.
The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-colored, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ that was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests in 1607. It has been known to be miraculous by its Filipino devotees and is being attended by millions of devotees, making it as one of the country’s biggest annual religious processions