Tagle: Nazarene devotees should reflect on their relationship with God


Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged devotees of the Black Nazarene to reflect on their relationship with God and challenged them to become witnesses of His love, which has been manifested in the image of the suffering Jesus Christ.

He said the image of the Black Nazarene-kneeling in agony under the weight of the cross—was the true image of God’s love for the people. “God’s love was manifested through Jesus Christ’s self-abandonment and willingness to be stripped of His dignity,” said Tagle in Filipino, addressing roughly 500,000 people that descended in droves at the Quirino Grandstand to attend the Mass held at dawn on Wednesday.

Tagle said devotees must only look at the Black Nazarene to realize His unparalleled love for man. He also said that like the Black Nazarene, they must learn to deny themselves of things that could strain their relationship with God.

Sadly, he said, many people today would give more attention and importance to their jewelry and their cell phones than finding time to talk with God.

Spate of killings

He also lamented the spate of killings happening inside and outside the country, saying that “money that should be spent on food, housing and education is being spent on things that kill.”

“There are some people who carefully look after their jewelry but they don’t even give attention to Jesus,” he said.  “Some even think they are going to die without their cell phones…they trust their cell phones more than Jesus Christ.”

“Some talk to their plants upon waking up in the morning without even talking to Jesus first. Some even give special food to their pet cats and dogs but they let their house-helpers eat spoiled food,” said the prelate.

“True devotees of the Black Nazarene should fight all kinds of deception that destroy people, the society and son of God…a genuine devotion should result in love and in becoming witnesses to the love and sufferings of Christ.”

‘Life is sacred’

He also hoped that more people would spread the “truth that life is sacred.”

“There are many reports of killings nowadays. There are many wars in various parts of the world. The money that should be spent on food, housing, schools is being spent on things that kill,” Tagle noted.

“We need to become witnesses to the truth that Christ came to this world not to endanger people but to give them life in peace,” he added.

Even before Cardinal Tagle concluded his homily during the Mass to kick-off the grueling procession of the iconic Black Nazarene, maroon-clad pilgrims broke police barricades at the heavily guarded Quirino Grandstand in Manila to get closer to the image.

The sudden surge of barefoot men and women, bearing colorful banners, cheering and waving handkerchiefs near the stage drowned out an appeal from Tagle to keep calm and to focus first on the Mass that was being celebrated.

Faith-fueled frenzy

While some were appeased, the others persisted, pushing their way through the faith-fueled frenzy to find a good spot to mount the carriage and touch the miraculous statue of the mulatto Jesus Christ.

Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, said the fervid demonstrations of faith by the devotees were understandable.

“They really want to get close to the image of the Black Nazarene. They want to be the first to touch it and get hold of the rope used to pull the carriage,” Ignacio told reporters later in an interview.

Even if the image of the Black Nazarene could be regularly visited at the Quiapo Church, its home for more than 200 years, pilgrims are drawn to the traditional traslacion (the transfer of the Nazarene) each year in the belief that the heavens shower tremendous blessings when the faithful are gathered in mammoth crowds, according to Ignacio.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

    Reflect on their relationship with God?  How?  Is climbing up to touch the wooden statue, kissing it, wiping it with handkerchief and towel, pulling the rope all signs of relationship with God.  In the end, the wooden statue carved by man returns to where it belongs…motionless.  When would all these craziness stop?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

      It is faith, rather wipes your car, computers, kissing with celphones that has no relations with God. Craziness doesn’t stop on you until you’ve done.

      Jude 1:3
      Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to maintain for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the Saints.


    SOUL bruddah numbah one in WOOD = god! Salamabet…..whattah teyk!!!

    Kahit na mga taga-bundok at taga-gubat ay mahirap mapaniwala sa ganyang kaechosang salita….. panatikong ala Valentin de los Santos at Jim Jones lamang ang masusungkit sa ganitong basket. Whew! :-)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

      At nakakatawa ang pinagpapanata nila.  May humihiling na pagalingin ang kanilang cholesterol at nang tinanong ng isang reporter kung nagda-diet o umiiwas sa sobrang karne, hindi daw.  May gustong yumaman pa.  May nagdahilan na mahal kasi magpa-doktor at si Poot este Poong Nazareno lang ang pag-asa.  May babaeng gustong bumalik ang kanyang asawa na iniwan siya.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/BMIGLYZMHZZDSINKWDCM3DO56Y Dennis

        Humiling ka pagalingin utak mo dahil na duped kana ng pastor mo

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

        Human reasoning are not made the same but faith.

      • UrHONOR

        Any ‘faith’ must have a basis……….just as those of the “indios” that were peremptorily altered by coercion by the few king damasos.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

        You’re right faith had basis. Catholic faith had 2000 years of basis. If you’re central all eyes is with you.

      • UrHONOR

        Gingawang anting-anting ang “FAITH”……. o Santa Claus. Tapos, yong naturingang matino na nakasayng puti, sa halip na ITUWID ang kabulastugang kaisipan, sinusulsulsulan pa ang naliligaw sa landas sa ngalan ng POTENTIAL contribution. PhsaW!

  • Hey_Dudes

    Any cardinal priest or whatever calling this procession part of religion must truly be a nut case.  Why do they tolerate this yearly madness that numerous people gets injured while these are only  hoping for hope and improvement in their lives? There must be a better and safer way celebrating this rite.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

      They tolerate because it’s a good way of attracting church and mass attendance which means more collections.  It’s business with vendors selling their merchandise.  Outwardly, some priests warn Catholics not to be fanatics.  But even Cardinal Tagle went to Quirino Grandstand to officiate the Mass.  Mass has not ended yet and people started pushing and tearing down the barricades.  Tagle pleased with the people in vain.  No one obeyed.  Is that faith?  Is that obedience to God?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

        Human nature applies. Like you Judgemental it applies to you too.

  • $37644997

    Idolatry to Jesus are not allowed.Praying fervently is the answere.The black nazarene is not miraculous,but you can make one with anyone from heaven;Jesus is one ,Mother Mary,Saint Germain,Lord Krishna,Lord Gautama Budha,Archangel Michael,Beloved Kuan yin and etc.

  • simondj

    Psalms 135 – 15: The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 16: They have mouths, but they speak not, they have eyes, but they see not, 17: they have ears, but they hear not, nor is there any breath in their mouths. 18: Like them be those who make them! — yes, every one who trusts in them!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPSXDLCQEZGZDJSX32G7PYHNCI Noel

      But Catholic defenders and apologists would be quick to reason that they’re not worshiping the graven images but only to remind those about God.  Yet, they kneel down, touch, hug, kiss and cry over the statues and images.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/BMIGLYZMHZZDSINKWDCM3DO56Y Dennis

        Almighty God asked moses to make a snake made of gold he said who ever sees it will be save

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UYCOAGIL35OAIRH2T6QH3IZUMY Ike

        In Numbers 21:4-9. The Israelites became impatient and spoke againts God and Moses. As a punishment God sent venomous snake to bit them and many Israelites died. On realizing that they had sinned againts God they ask Moses to pray for them and God ask Moses make & put a bronze snake on a pole so that anyone who was bitten can look at it and live,
          They were ask to look at the bronze snake and NOT TO BOW DOWN TO IT AND WORSHIP IT. Anyone who realized that they had sinned againts God were asked  to look at it so that they can survive the punishment of God and to realize that there is are consequences in sinning againts God.
          Dennis the snake is made of bronze and not gold and it is a symbol of consequences of sinning againts God. They were ask to look at it so that they will live and NOT SO THEY WILL BE SAVE.

      • Mrsulit

        Hebrews 8:13New King James Version (NKJV)
        13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/BMIGLYZMHZZDSINKWDCM3DO56Y Dennis

      Ikw ang tinutokoy nyan sa sinasabi mo you have mouth but afrid to tell the truth you have eyes but you ignore to help the poor dahil hindi nyo brod sa iglesia you have ears but you hear not cause you scared wala kang itlog bading ka huwag kanang guminhawa dahil wala kang kuwentang tao na brainwash kana ng pastor mo

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

      Right. Their cars have eyes, Ears, and Talk. They idolized those human made toys, sometime killed another.

      Philippians 3:18-19 For many. of whom i have often told you and now tell you even with tear, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in the shame, with minds set on earthly things.

  • Jason Cruz

    Padre Damaso, magbigay naman kayo kahit barya sa nga mahihirap, puro kabig na lang kayo.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

      Insult is Satanic act!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NV25ZPWMBDYFXEYR3AWQ43ZS5E Hein S

    GULLIBLE Filipinos pray to a BLOCK OF WOOD.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

      GULLIBLE are those Jumping from one Faith to another. No satisfaction.

      • marionics

        how do you know he jumped?

  • Hey_Dudes

    There is a similar rite celebrated each year in Mecca.  It’s a rite joined by thousands of people of a particular religion where they fast, pray and goes in circles for days adoring a symbol.  Similarly, it often ends up in chaos resulting in death and injuries but what the heck?  Just like this annual Quiapo ritual, it is religion it goes with the territory.

    What about I N C do they have something close to this madness?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

      Matthew 18:20
      For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

  • Allan Tenko

    instead of correcting…our church tolerating THIS… sad because this lead to CONFUSION among us christians….

    • tiriring

      Don’t be confused.  READ YOUR BIBLE.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


  • godofthunder16

    Well you know what they say; “Once you go black, There ain’t no going back!”

    Quiapo and the sea of delusion.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RAM3ILRJAYUMDENG63DPC7YE2Y Louie

    You wouldn’t UNDERSTAND unless you are a DEVOTEE of the BLACK NAZARENE!

    Why such number of devotees, others from farflung provinces, crowd the procession route just to have a clear view of the image?  It’s because of their faith and belief that the BLACK NAZARENE helped them or will help them.  

    This January, devotees of the STO. NIÑO will also flock to Tondo, Pandacan, Cebu, Iloilo and Kalibo.  It’s because of the faith and devotion.

    Try being a devotee, you would understand why these people, despite their status in life (e.g. former VP Noli De Castro), flock to Quiapo.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NV25ZPWMBDYFXEYR3AWQ43ZS5E Hein S

    IDOLATRY catholic style

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NV25ZPWMBDYFXEYR3AWQ43ZS5E Hein S

    Tagle, bring out your P24,000,000,000.00 in BPI and SanMig shares to help the Poor.
    Open up your Hectares and Hectares of land to the Squatters.

    We do not need your LIP SERVICE.

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