Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila Draws Millions

TLDR: Catholic devotees gathered in the millions for the annual feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila. The traditional procession, known as the “Traslacion,” witnessed a massive crowd, with participants estimated at 6.1 million people. The event, presided over by Cardinal Jose Advincula, featured a midnight Mass at the Quirino Grandstand, a procession, and a return to Quiapo Church. The procession lasted for 15 hours, marking its fastest time in history. Despite some challenges, including moisture on the glass case holding the Nazarene image, the event was considered a success.

A Grand Gathering of Devotees

Catholic devotees, estimated to be in the millions, turned up for this year’s feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila. A mammoth crowd, mostly barefoot devotees, packed the city’s streets to witness the traditional procession or “Traslacion” of the Nazarene image from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church on Tuesday.

Record-Breaking Attendance

Organizers reported that as many as 6.1 million people attended the event — from the midnight Mass presided over by Cardinal Jose Advincula at the grandstand until the return of the image to Quiapo. An estimated 939,000 people were at the grandstand, approximately 3.2 million joined the procession, and around 1.9 million were at the Quiapo Church.

A Historic Procession

The procession lasted for 15 hours, marking the fastest time in the history of the Traslacion, which commemorates the transfer of the image from Intramuros to Quiapo more than 400 years ago. In 2012, the longest Traslacion on record lasted 22 hours, albeit following a different and longer route.

Challenges and Reflections

Alex Irasga, the church’s lay adviser for the Traslacion, said the image returned to the church “very clean and without any damage.” However, due to humidity and rain, moisture clouded the glass enclosure, affecting everyone’s view of the Black Nazarene.

“This is something that we didn’t prepare for and consider (with the new design of the andas or carriage),” according to Irasga. “Maybe we should just take it as birth pains.”

The Role of Devotees

Presiding over the third-to-last of the 33 fiesta Masses on Tuesday evening, Quiapo Church spokesperson Fr. Hans Magdurulang emphasized the importance of serving and ministering to others in Christ’s name without conditions or expectations.

“Let us be devotees who not only receive but also serve,” Magdurulang said. “The Black Nazarene is not just on the altar or andas; He must also be present in our good attitude and reflected acts of kindness toward others.”

In conclusion, this year’s feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila saw an immense turnout of Catholic devotees, setting records for attendance and procession speed. Despite challenges like moisture on the image’s glass case, the event remained a powerful expression of faith and devotion.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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