Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de QuiapoMANILA, Philippines—Drawing millions of devotees every year, the Black Nazarene procession this Saturday would not only be a venue of faith but also of social responsibility.

In light of the coming elections, a voter’s education program under the advocacy campaign for good governance called Juana Change is scheduled to be conducted by Ambassador Henrietta De Villa on the eve of the Black Nazarene procession on January 8 at 8 p.m. at the Quirino Grandstand.

The program is in line with this year’s theme, “Tunay na deboto, matuwid at masunuring katiwala ng Poong Hesus Nazareno (The true devotee is honest and an obedient trustee of the Lord, Jesus the Nazarene).”

“Ngayon lang po natin ito gagawin dahil sa tema at nalalapit na eleksyon. Nakikita natin na napakahalaga po na maging responsable tayo sa pagpapasya (This is the first time we will do this because of the theme and the coming elections. We see that it is important for us to be responsible in our decisions),” said Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, parish priest of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.

In 2009, more than three million Filipino devotees joined the procession from Luneta Park to Quiapo Church.

Barefoot Filipino devotees clamber to touch the image of the Black Nazarene

“Ito pong Nazareno ang national devotion nating mga Pilipino. Taon-taon nadodoble ang mga deboto, lalo na nung nagkaroon ng mga krisis, mas dumami ang mga nagsisimba (The Nazarene is our national devotion as Filipinos. Every year the number of devotees doubles. The number of churchgoers increases especially in times of crisis),” said Ignacio.

“Ang Nazareno kasi ay moreno at yung pagbubuhat ng krus ay sumasalamin sa mga sufferings ng mga Filipinos. Makikita din natin sa Filipino psyche na hindi sumusuko at laging may pag-asa tulad na imahe ng Nazareno na laging tumatayo pag nadadapa (The Nazarene is dark, and the carrying of the cross reflects the sufferings of Filipinos. We can see that in the Filipino psyche. He does not give up easily and is always hopeful. He picks himself up every time he falls),” he added.

Ignacio also clarified that the feast of the Black Nazarene is every Good Friday and what is celebrated every January 9 is the Translacion.

“Ang Translacion ay ang pagdating ng imahe ng Poong Nazareno mula sa Mexico kung saan inihatid ito mula Bagumbayan patungo dito sa Quiapo. Nais naming ibalik ang tradisyon (The Translacion is the arrival of the Lord Nazarene from Mexico, where it was brought from Bagumbayan to here in Quiapo. We want to revive the tradition),” said Ignacio.

more details on this year’s procession at inquirer.net

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