January 9, 2012

Feast of Black Nazarene January 9, 2012

The Black Nazarene/
Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno/
Itim na Nazareno
The Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 2012 will have the procession scheduled to start at 8 a.m. after the Mass but, because of the multitudes of those who attend, it is expected to last for 10 to 12 hours.

A grand Fiesta, this festival centers on the image of the Black Nazarene which was transported by galleon from Mexico to Manila in the 17th century. The festival is marked by an afternoon procession by thousands of devotees.

Around eight million devotees flock in Quiapo every year and wear the color maroon and go barefoot in imitation of Jesus on his way to Mount Calvary.

Last  Saturday Malacanang asked devotees of the Black Nazarene to take necessary precautions and refrain from bringing along their children and valuables to ensure an orderly and peaceful celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene Monday, Jan. 9.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte echoed the appeals made by officials of Manila, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to the public against bringing children and their valuables.

"To our elderly devotees, let us also take the necessary precautions," she said.
Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim said the Nazarene procession’s route has been cleared of obstructions, potholes, hanging wires and even broken bottles and the like to ensure the safety of the devotees who will be joining the procession barefooted.
Meanwhile, instead of the usual “namamasan,” priests will be the ones to transfer the 40-year-old image of the Black Nazarene from the altar to its “andas” (carriage) Monday.
Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, said he will ask the priests to transfer the life-size image of Jesus Christ to prevent chaos during the feast day mass in Luneta.

“The priests will be the ones to carry. This is a first for them,” he said.

“We are requesting the ‘mamamasan’ to wait for the Mass to finish. Don’t rush because the priests are not used to shoving,” Ignacio said in Pilipino.

In the past, the Mass was temporarily interrupted when devotees started climbing the stage to get near the Nazareno image for the procession.

Ignacio said they are hoping that the presence of the priests will help pacify the devotees.
The Quiapo rector appealed anew to the faithful to respect the occasion and Mass. He said devotees need not climb the stage during the Mass as they’ll be given several opportunities to approach the Nazareno such as the “pahalik” (the faithful’ kissing of the feet and hands of the Nazarene image) which will start at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, Manila.

Around eight million devotees are expected to join the annual “traslacion” procession of the Black Nazarene from Luneta to Quiapo Church Monday afternoon.

Traditionally, men are the only ones permitted to hold the ropes pulling the image's carriage, but in recent years female devotees also participated in the procession. People who have touched the Black Nazarene said they  have been cured of their diseases, and Catholics come from all over Manila to touch the image in the hopes of a miracle. Towels and handkerchiefs are wipe on the statue in their hope of a miracle they attributed to the "rubbing off". To some devotees it is their annual rites to beg for forgiveness and renewal of their subscription to God’s grace.

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