MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle warned against what he called “huwad na daan” (false path) as millions mark the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Tuesday, January 9.
“Ang tunay na tao, hindi nagdidiyos-diyosan (A true person does not play god),” Tagle said in his homily during a Midnight Mass at the Quirino Grandstand.
Tagle then called on his flock to live simple lifestyles, not “false lives” anchored on expensive shirts and other luxuries.
“Ang tunay na tao, marunong makipagkapwa-tao (A true person knows how to treat others well),” he added.
The Manila archbishop also warned against greed for power, in a Mass attended by barefoot devotees and top officials of government as well.
“Ang buhay, wala sa kapangyarihan. Pinanganak tayong walang kapangyarihn, at sa oras ng kamatayan, wala tayong kapangyarihan. Mabuhay ka na hindi ganid sa kapangyarihan at magiging tunay kang buhay na tao,” Tagle said.
(Life does not lie in power. We were born without power, and when we die, we will have no power as well. Live without being greedy for power, and you will be a real person.)
Tagle delivered this homily around 5 hours ahead of the annual Traslacion, a nearly 24-hour procession when the 17th-century image of the Black Nazarene is transferred from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church.
Estrada, Dela Rosa in Mass
The Midnight Mass was, in a rare instance, attended by the new papal nuncio or Vatican ambassador to the Philippines, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia.
It was the first time in recent history that a papal nuncio attended a Traslacion Nazareno fiesta Mass at the Quirino Grandstand.
Also in the Mass were Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, his son Jinggoy Estrada and daughter Jackie, and Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
Just before the start of the Midnight Mass, the Manila Police District Station 5 estimated the crowd at the Quirino Grandstand at 120,000. The Plaza Miranda police station said the crowd at the Quiapo Church was between 1,500 to 1,000.
Up to 8 million devotees join the annual procession of the Black Nazarene, a 17th-century mulatto image of Jesus Christ, which Filipinos believe to be miraculous.
Cloaked in a maroon robe, crowned with thorns and bearing a cross, the Nazarene statue was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests in 1607, decades after the start of Spain’s colonial rule.
It was believed to have acquired its color after being partially burnt when the Galleon ship carrying it caught fire on a voyage from Mexico, another Spanish colony at the time. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
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