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Sunday, January 9, 2011

January 9 Feast of the Black Nazarene

Today is the feast day of Black Nazarene. All over the Philippines celebrates his feast day and he is known to make a lot of miracles up to this day. Attested to that miracle!

The Black Nazarene, known to devotees as Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo ("Our Father Jesus Nazarene of Quiapo"), is a life-sized, dark-coloured, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ, held to be miraculous by many Filipino devotees. The Black Nazarene is currently enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is celebrated every January 9 with the weekly Friday Masses held in its honour beginning on the first Friday of the year.


The statue's original carver is an anonymous Mexican carpenter, and the image arrived in the archipelago by galleon from Acapulco, Mexico. Folk tradition attributes the colour of the Black Nazarene to a fire on the ship carrying it, charring the image from its original fair tone into its present dark complexion.

The image was brought to the Philippines by the Augustinian Recollect Missionaries on May 31, 1606. It was initially enshrined in the first Recollect church in Bagumbayan (now part of Rizal Park). On September 10, 1606, the church was inaugurated and placed under the patronage of St. John the Baptist. In 1608, the image was transferred to the second bigger Recollect church of San Nicolas de Tolentino built in Intramuros. Between 1767 and 1790, the Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho de Santas Justa y Rufina, ordered the transfer of the Black Nazarene to its present location within the Quiapo church.

Today, the image borne in procession consists of the original body of the Black Nazarene connected to a replica of the head, while the original head portion of the statue remains on a replica of the body enshrined within the high altar of the basilica. An exception to this setup was during the 2007 feast, where both the original head and the body were combined in celebration of the Black Nazarene's 400 year history.


Veneration of the Black Nazarene stems from the overall importance Filipino culture has for the Passion of Jesus. Many devotees of the Black Nazarene identify their poverty and daily struggles to the wounds and tribulations experienced by Jesus, as represented by the image. Although the patron saint of the basilica itself is Saint John the Baptist, the consecration of the Black Nazarene has gained popularity because Jesus Christ is the centre of the devotion, bypassing intercession through a saint.

Devotion to the miraculous Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno attracted huge following among the populace. Popularity, initially at the northern and southern provinces of Luzon, spread over time throughout the country.

The uniquely Filipino devotion to the Black Nazarene merited the sanction and encouragement of two popes. In 1650, Pope Innocent X gave his pontifical blessing with a Papal Bull that canonically established the Confraternity of the Most Holy Black Christ Nazarene (Cofradia de Santo Cristo Jesús Nazareno) and Pope Pius VII gave his second blessing in the 19th century, by granting plenary indulgence to those who piously pray before the image of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.

Devotees pay homage to the Black Nazarene by clapping their hands in praise at the end of Mass performed at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.


Every Friday of the year is dedicated to the Black Nazarene, with the novena being held not only in the basilica but in other churches nationwide. This has led to the colloquial expression "Quiapo Day" for Fridays, especially when referring to the traffic jams that occur around the area due to the influx of devotees.


Two major and two minor processions are held annually to honour the Black Nazarene, namely one on the feast day itself and another on Good Friday. The procession during the January 9 feast commemorates the Traslacion, or the transfer of the image to its present shrine in Quiapo.

The Black Nazarene is carried into the streets for procession in an andas or shoulder-borne carriage. The estimated millions of devotees wear the colour maroon, associated with the image, and go barefoot in imitation of Jesus on his way to Mount Calvary. Traditionally, men are the only ones permitted to hold the ropes pulling the image's carriage, but in recent years female devotees also participate in the procession. People who have touched the Black Nazarene are reported to have been cured of their diseases, and Catholics come from all over Manila to touch the image in the hopes of a miracle. Towels or handkerchiefs are hurled to the marshals guarding the Black Nazarene with requests to wipe these on the statue in hopes of the miraculous powers attributed to it "rubbing off" on the cloth articles.

The procession held on the feast day is notorious for the annual casualties that result from the jostling and congestion of the crowds engaged in pulling the carriage. The injuries and even deaths of devotees are brought upon by one or a combination of heat, fatigue, or being trampled upon by other devotees.


Below are the lyrics of the National Hymn composed by Lucio San Pedro, which is used by the Quiapo church as the main hymn to the Black Nazarene.

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, (Our Father Jesus Nazarene)
Sinasamba Ka namin (We worship Thee)
Pinipintuho Ka namin (We admire Thee)
Aral Mo ang aming buhay (Thy lessons are our life)
at Kaligtasan(and Salvation.)

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Our Father Jesus Nazarene)
Iligtas Mo kami sa Kasalanan (Save us from Sin)
Ang Krus Mong Kinamatayan ay (Thy Cross Thou hast died on is)
Sagisag ng aming Kaligtasan (Emblem of our Salvation)

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Our Father Jesus Nazarene)
Dinarangal Ka namin (We honour Thee)
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno Our Father Jesus Nazarene)
Nilul'walhati Ka namin (We glorify Thee)
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Our Father Jesus Nazarene)
Dinarangal Ka namin (We honour Thee)
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Our Father Jesus Nazarene)
Nilul'walhati Ka namin (We glorify Thee)

Source: Wikipedia
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