Stand for truth and justice, Manila cardinal urges Nazarene devotees

January 11, 2023 - 2:03 PM
Filipino Catholic devotees wipe their towels at a replica of the Black Nazarene during the feast day, outside Quiapo Church in Manila, Philippines, January 9, 2023. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

Celebrating Mass on the Feast of the Black Nazarene for the second time as Manila archbishop, Cardinal Jose Advincula called on devotees to work for truth and justice as Christ did.

Speaking before a throng of devotees gathered at the Quirino Grandstand at midnight of Jan. 9, he urged them to share of Christ’s sufferings for the salvation of the world.

“Let us abandon a life of sin and live in the honor of God’s children. Let us strive to win truth, justice, and peace in the world,” Advincula said in Filipino.

The cardinal further encouraged the devotees to show their devotion through acts of compassion and charity.

“Let’s empathize with our neighbors and care for each other. Let’s reach out to our brothers and sisters, especially those who are struggling right now,” he said.

The liturgical service at the Quirino Grandstand for the Black Nazarene feast marked the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020.

While most traditional activities for the religious event were resumed, the “Traslacion”, which usually draws millions to Manila’s streets, was called off again this year as the pandemic remains a threat.

Church authorities estimated at least 92,000 people attended the Mass, many donning protective masks and small replicas of the Black Nazarene.

On Sunday, around 88,000 devotees also took part in the pre-dawn “Walk of Faith” from the grandstand to Quiapo Church, where the original image of the black Jesus is enshrined.

The major difference between the procession and the Traslacion was the absence of the life-size statue of Jesus Christ carrying the cross.

In Quiapo Church, fiesta Masses are also being held every hour since 12 a.m. The last Mass will be at 11 p.m.

As of 1 p.m., around 200,000 devotees have visited the church to pray and pay homage to the Black Nazarene.

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