Saturday, January 8, 2011
Today, January 9, is the feast of Black Nazarene. Also known as Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo("Our Father Jesus Nazarene of Quiapo"), patron saint of Quiapo, Philippines. The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-skinned statue of Jesus Christ.
The statue was brought to Manila by a Spanish priest in 1607 aboard a ship. The ship caught fire, burning the image and thus came to be known as the Black Nazarene. Though the image was burnt, the people decided to preserve and honor it. Since then, miraculous things have been reported to those who touch the image.
The life size image of the Black Nazarene shows a “black” Jesus Christ carrying a cross. The statue has been housed at the Saint John de Baptist Church in Quiapo, Manila also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene since 1787. The image of the Black Nazarene is brought out in procession on its feast day and Good Friday.
Most of the devotees who participate in procession follow the image bare-footed as a sign of humility, part of the January 9th celebrations of the Black Nazarene feast are:
1. Pahalik (Kissing of the Image) - people line up to kiss the foot of the Black Nazarene
2. Pabihis (Dressing of the Image) - done five times a year before major events
3. Pasindi (Lighting of the Candles) - accompanied with prayer intentions
4. Bendisyon (Blessing of the Faithful) - people catch the droplets of holy water during the blessings after the masses