Hundreds of devotees of Manila’s Black Nazarene have started to flock to the national capital’s Quiapo district this week ahead of its “feast” next week.
For the second year, however, the procession of the image of the Black Nazarene in Manila will be suspended due to threats of the coronavirus disease.
Father Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of Quiapo church, earlier said the decision was in compliance with the rules of the government’s COVID-19 task force.
The city government of Manila also announced that the traditional religious procession that usually attracts millions of people remains suspended due to the pandemic.
Instead, the celebration of the “Feast of the Black Nazarene” will be done through a motorcade in selected areas of the capital.
Like last year, a replica of the image of the black Jesus will also be visiting some provinces where Masses will be held.
The Black Nazarene “feast” is traditionally celebrated with a grand procession called “traslacion,” or transfer, that is attended by millions of devotees who would jostle their way to touch the carriage carrying the statue.
The annual blessing of the replicas of the Nazarene image started on Monday, December 27 at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila’s Quiapo district.
Images of the Black Nazarene were also sent to the provinces — Atimonan in Quezon on December 27 and to the Baguio Cathedral on December 28. On December 30, an image was sent to the province of Rizal.
On Thursday, December 30, Quiapo Church held its annual thanksgiving motorcade. Devotees have been encouraged to light a candle on the sidewalk on the route of the procession.