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Bicolano Devotees Pay Homage to Hesus Nazareno

Every January 9, the entire Philippines is focused on famous feast of Hesus Nazareno. The Black Nazarene (El Nazareno Negro, Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno, Hesus Nazareno; or Poóng Itím na Nazareno;) is a life-sized statue of the Crucified Christ.

The Black Nazarene was carved from a dark wood around the 16th century in Mexico by a group of Spanish Augustinian Recollect friars, and then transported to Philippines in 1606. It depicts Jesus en route his Crucifixion. Pope Innocent X granted to recognition to the lay Confraternity of Santo Cristo Jesus Nazareno in 1650 for the promotion of devotion to Jesus under this image. It was housed in several churches near Manila in the early decades, rod eaching the Quiapo church in 1787 where it has been ever since. The icon is renowned in the Philippines, is considered miraculous by many Filipino Catholics who believe that just touching it cures diseases. Attracting thousands devotees and major processions every year, the devotion becomes one of the most famous religious gathering not only in Manila but also in various provinces and parishes of the country.

Religious veneration of the Black Nazarene is rooted among Filipinos who identify themselves with the passion and suffering of Christ which the statue depicts. Many devotees of the Black Nazarene relate their poverty and daily struggles to the Passion of Christ as represented by the image.

In the Archdiocese of Caceres, particularly in Binanuanan, Calabanga, a parish was established in August 29, 2009 that was dedicated in honor of Hesus Nazareno. The said parish is now one of the pilgrimage sites of the archdiocese.

In several parishes the feast is also celebrated in Holy Cross Parish, Tabuco Naga City. Thousand of devotees join the procession that the entire celebration is held in much bigger place, in Plaza Quezon. Big celebration was held in St Bartholomew Parish, Baao; St Anthony of Padua Parish, Iriga City, and Holy Cross Parish, Nabua CS. Masses and processions were again held in the above parishes last Thursday.

Hesus Nazareno of Holy Cross Parish Tabuco. Also some of the devotees lined up to kiss the venerated image during the pahalik at the Plaza Quezon.

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