IN PHOTOS: Thousands bless replicas of Black Nazarene statue

Sofia Tomacruz
IN PHOTOS: Thousands bless replicas of Black Nazarene statue
The blessing of Black Nazarene replicas is carried out in advance as devotees and priests will be unable to do so on the feast day itself

MANILA, Philippines – Two days before the feast of the Black Nazarene is set to take place, devotees already flocked to streets in the thousands as they lined up outside Quiapo church on Monday, January 7 to have replicas of the statue blessed.

During the annual tradition, devotees fill the street in front of the Quiapo church, also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, where priests bless them as they pour holy water from atop a foot bridge over Quezon Boulevard.

The blessing of Black Nazarene replicas is held in advance as devotees and priests will be unable to do so on the feast day itself. (SCHEDULE: Nazareno 2019 activities)

The Black Nazarene statue, crowned with thorns and bearing a cross, was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests in 1607. It is also believed to have been partially burnt and blackened when the galleon carrying it caught fire on a transpacific voyage from Mexico, another Spanish colony at the time.

The theme of Traslacion 2019 is: “Deboto ng Poong Hesus Nazareno: Hinirang at pinili upang maging lingkod Niya (Devotees of the Lord Jesus the Nazarene: Chosen to serve Him).”

Check out photos of this year’s celebration below:

CROWDS GATHER. Thousands join the procession of replicas of the Black Nazarene image outside Quiapo Church along Quezon Blvd. on Monday, January 7. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

FAITH. Female Nazareno devotees participate during the blessing of the replica of the Black Nazarene at Quiapo in Manila on 7 January 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

HOLY. Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Ding Coronel welcomes the Black Nazarene devotees. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

SHOWER. Priests stationed atop the footbridge near Quiapo Chruch shower holy water at the devotees and their Black Nazarene replicas. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

PRAYER. Father and son join the blessing at the Quiapo Church two days before the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

DEVOTED. Young and old devotees carry replicas of the Black Nazarene statue. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

PRAYER. The build up for the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene begins with the blessing of the replicas. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

– Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.