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: