(Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in 2013. We are reposting the story below in observance this year of the feast on Thursday, January 9)
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Every 9th of January, we prepare for heavy traffic, a sea of devotees and a dark-skinned statue of Jesus making its way to Quiapo church.
For this statue, devotees endure heat, stench and the dirty road of Quiapo against their bare feet. Some have died from suffocation or from being trampled by fellow devotees.
Who is this Black Nazarene for whom so many endure? Like its many followers, it has walked many distances to reach us. Let’s retrace its path and sketch its story, one step at a time.