Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Millions of Catholics join Black Nazarene procession in Philippines

Millions of Catholics join Black Nazarene procession in Philippines

The statue was passing through streets of old Manila lined with bystanders yesterday afternoon en route to its home in the Quiapo church in a lengthy parade that usually takes 20 hours or more.

In a separate advisory released Wednesday evening, the Supreme Court (SC) announced that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has also suspended work in the SC, the Court of Appeals (CA), and the Trial Courts of the First and Second Level in Manila for the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

A sea of heaving, towel-waving humanity swarmed a black statue of a cross-bearing Jesus Christ in the Philippine capital yesterday as the Catholic faithful joined one of the nation's largest religious festivals.

"Enduring a challenging procession where devotees walk barefoot is also seen as a test of faith for some".

Officials of the Manila Police District (MPD) and Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) on Wednesday inspected the route of the annual procession.

He said road obstructions such as electric cables and open manholes need to be cleared.

Security, provided by about 10,000 policemen and soldiers, was tight throughout the procession route, including the decision to ban mobile phone services in the Quiapo area for the procession.

The Philippines is Asia's Catholic bastion with a flock of more than 80 million.

The administration of Quiapo Church on Monday said 18 million devotees were expected to flood the streets of Manila during the procession or the Traslacion from Quirno Grandstand to the Quiapo Church basilica.

Others said they joined the procession or paid homage while waiting for the arrival of the image at the Quiapo church to thank the Black Nazarene for all the blessings granted them.

Guide to the "traslacion" procession. "But I have a devotion", Honey Pescante, a 24-year-old housewife from Bataan province, said.

This year's procession will have a new feature - 12 prayer stations that will be set up along the way.

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