Thousands of Catholic devotees observed physical distancing as they queued for Masses on Saturday, January 9, to pray before a centuries-old black wooden statue of Jesus Christ believed to be miraculous.
With the coronavirus pandemic afflicting the country, authorities canceled an annual procession of the life-sized image of the Black Nazarene, the country’s largest religious event that draws millions of devotees in an annual ritual observed for 200 years.
Instead, church leaders organized 15 Masses at Manila’s Quiapo Church, which houses the life-sized statue, and livestreamed the worship services, pleading for devotees not to flock into the basilica.
Organizers allowed only 400 devotees at a time inside Quiapo Church, but thousands of others heard Mass outside.
Here are scenes from the Feast of the Black Nazarene this year, an ardent display of faith in the time of pandemic.
– with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com