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Thousands of devotees flock to Quiapo for liturgical feast of the Black Nazarene

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By Leslie Ann Aquino

Thousands of devotees joined the Good Friday procession of the Black Nazarene with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) placing the crowd estimate at 35,000.

Devotees parade their replica of the Nazarene in front of the Minor de Basilica of the Black Nazarene dawn Monday in preparation for the Traslacion. (Jun Ryan Arañas / MANILA BULLETIN)

Devotees parade their replica of the Nazarene in front of the Minor de Basilica of the Black Nazarene dawn Monday, January 7, 2019, in preparation for the Traslacion. (JUN RYAN ARAÑAS / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“The actual liturgical feast of the Black Nazarene is Good Friday because that is the time that He carries the cross,” Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, former rector of Quiapo Church said.

What is being commemorated every January 9, he said is the “traslacion” or the transfer of the Black Nazarene image from Bagumbayan (old Intramuros) to Quiapo Church.

Some devotees can be seen knocking on the glass casing of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo Church.

Ignacio believes it’s their way of praying for other people.

Asked why the faithful were not prohibited from doing this, Ignacio said they don’t see anything wrong with it.

“Is it wrong to knock on God? Didn’t Christ Himself said: Knock and the door shall be opened?” said Ignacio.

To avoid any accident, he said the casing of the image was made of tempered glass.

“I asked that all the glass casing of saints be made of tempered glass so there won’t be any accident,” Ignacio said.

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 its feast is marked by the biggest annual religious procession in the country.

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