Devotees of the Black Nazarene in Manila are urged to stay at home on January 9 during the commemoration of the “traslacion,” literally the “transfer,” due to the prevailing pandemic.
“If possible, just pray in your homes, stay at home, pray with the family because we will also get the same grace,” said Monsignor Hernando Coronel, rector of Manila’s Quiapo church.
On Jan. 9, 1787, the Augustinian Recollects donated a copy of the image to the church in Quiapo.
It started the tradition of the “traslacion,” or “transfer” of the image from the church of San Nicolas de Tolentino to Manila’s Quiapo district.
“This is the only time that a priest said, ‘Do not go on the actual feast day,'” said Monsignor Coronel in an interview with Church-run Veritas 846.
The priest urged those who will attend the activities in the church to follow safety and health protocols by always wearing face masks, face shields, and to observe “physical distancing.”
Manila church officials has earlier announced that even the procession of replicas of the image of the Black Nazarene has been canceled.
“There will be no traditional replica procession,” said Father Danichi Hui, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church. He said devotees can instead bring their images to be blessed if they visit the church.
The procession of replicas of the image of the Nazarene held days before January 9 usually draws a huge crowd of devotees.
Also cancelled is the traditional kissing of the image, which is now put on display on the balcony of the church in Quiapo for veneration.