Filipino Catholics on Jan. 3 gathered in Manila during the blessing of replicas marking a week-long observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene.
Devotees brought floats with images of the charred Jesus in front of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazarene in the Quiapo district.
The image of the Black Nazarene was supposedly made by a Mexican sculptor and was brought to Manila via a galleon from Acapulco, Mexico, on May 31, 1606.
Traditional accounts attribute the color of the image to votive candles burning before the image, although the most famous story is that it was charred by a fire on the galleon that brought it from Mexico.
The image was first enshrined in the Church of San Juan Bautista of the Augustinian Recollects in Bagumbayan in Manila until it was demolished in 1644.
In 1608, the image was transferred to the church of San Nicolas de Tolentino (popularly known as the “Recoletos Church”) inside Intramuros.
It was enshrined in the high altar until both the church and the image perished as a result of the bombardment and the flames of Manila during its liberation in 1945.
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 Quiapo.
All photos by Jire Carreon