Catholics are known for their deep devotion and love for the Black Nazarene whose feast we celebrate today, January 9. Every year, almost 12 million devotees from all walks of life participate in the frenzied procession of the statue of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.
In the 16th century, the Black Nazarene was carved by an unknown Mexican from a dark wood in Mexico and then transported to the Philippines in 1606. The image depicts Jesus en route to his crucifixion. In 1650, Pope Innocent X granted recognition to the lay Confraternity of Santo Cristo Jesus Nazareno for the promotion of the devotion to Jesus through the icon. Upon its arrival in the Philippines, the image was housed in several churches near Manila in the early decades. It arrived in Quiapo in 1787 where it has been enshrined ever since. This image is renowned in the Philippines and is considered by many Filipino Catholics to be miraculous. Numerous devotees pay homage to the image every 9th of January.
One of the highlights of the celebration is the Traslacion, commemorating the transfer of the Nazarene image from Quirino Grandstand in Luneta to Quiapo. From the Quirino Grandstand, the procession makes its way along the streets of Quiapo. This year’s Traslacion theme is “Hinirang at Pinili upang maging lingcod niya,” which gives emphasis in the celebration of the Year of the Youth which was declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in preparation for the 500 years of the first baptism in the Philippines in 2021.
Prior to its feast, Novena Masses were held from December 31, 2018, to January 8, 2019. The image of the Black Nazarene was brought to the Quirino Grandstand yesterday, January 8, 2019 and the Pahalik was held. An overnight vigil also organized at the Quirino Grandstand led by the Parish Youth Ministry of Quiapo Church. The Solemn Eucharistic Celebration at 12 midnight was celebrated with Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, DD, archbishop of Manila, and the hourly Mass at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene will start at 3 a.m..
A morning prayer will be held at 4 a.m. at Quirino Grandstand and the procession of the Traslacion will begin at 5 a.m., which will pass the streets of Katigbak, Padre Burgos, Taft Avenue, Jones Bridge, Dasmarinas, Plaza Sta. Cruz, Palanca, Quezon Bridge, Quezon Boulevard, Arlegui, Fraternal, Vergara, Duque de Alba, Castillejos, Nepomuceno, Aguila, Carcer, Hidalgo, Plaza del Carmen. Upon its arrival at Plaza del Carmen, the image will stop in front of San Sebastian Church for the traditional Dungaw of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel to the Jesus, the Black Nazarene. The procession will then proceed towards Gonzalo Puyat, Z.P. De Guzman, Hidalgo, Bautista, Globo de Oro, Palanca, Villalobos, and to Plaza Miranda. The image is expected to arrive at the Minor Basilica by 2:30 a.m. of January 10, 2019
May suffering of Filipinos, carrying their own crosses in the Calvary of the present world, be alleviated by their love for the Black Nazarene, seeking its guidance to walk with him towards the glory of the Resurrection.