MANILA—Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the dedication of the devotees of the Black Nazarene is beyond the pushing and shoving, which is always anticipated during the annual event.
In his Homily, the cardinal noted that supporters braving long queues just to touch the image of the Black Jesus Christ is part of their deep devotions and faith, as they believe that it is the Black Nazarene that they can hold on to during their most difficult time.
“The devotees of Black Nazarene, it is important to them to be close and touch the image, for those who look at the event as pushing and showing, that is not what is all about. Have you ever experienced having nothing to hold on to? If you have gone through that, that is the only time that you will understand, why the devotees have that deep faith on the Black Nazarene,” he said during the midnight mass at the Quirino Grandstand on Saturday.
The head of the Archdiocese of Manila said that aside from being near and touch the religious image, devotees also use the occasion to thank the Black Nazarene for all the blessings.
“Bukod sa pagnanais na makalapit, makahawak ng mga deboto ay maging rin ang pagpapasalamat,” he said.
Tagle also quoted a devotee, ‘Yung mga nakakapagkwento, baket ka taon taon nagtitiyaga, nagpupuyat, nagugutom kung minyan, ‘yung iba nasusugatan, may mga nahihimatay, pero palagi pa din ginagawa. Ang laging sagot ay ito’y pagtanaw po ng utang na loob, ibig kong magpasalamat sa Poong Nazareno dahil sa hindi masukat na katapatan at kabutihan sa akin.”
At past 5:30 a.m., the “andas,” the carriage that carries the Black Nazarene image started to move out of the Quirino Grandstand. Two ropes were attached to the carriage, which is being pulled by thousands of devotees.
Asked on why was the start of traslacion was made early compared to the previous year, Msgr. Hernando Coronel, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, said, “Bago ako. Wala ako reference point. Dapat flexible sa schedule just like sa pahalik.”
Meanwhile, authorities have estimated that some 1.2 million attended the mass and the procession.
With this, Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said the traslacion this year is very organised compared to the previous year.
“Nandito tayo since start ng pahalik, nakita natin kung paano organised ang pagdaraos ng banal na gawain na ito. Hanggang kanina yun talaga pagkasimula sa pagdala ng ating poong sa andas medyo mabilis at police natin naka-barricade at kasama ang barangay,” he said. (PNA)