Black Nazarene finally returns homeBy Matikas Santos |INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines—After a day-long procession, the Black Nazarene was finally brought back to its rightful place inside the Quiapo Church early Thursday.
An overflowing crowd of devotees at Plaza Miranda greeted the Black Nazarene as it was wheeled back to its home at around 1:30 a.m., some 18 hours after it left Rizal Park early Wednesday.
The image of the Black Nazarene had left the Quirino Grandstand around 8 a.m. Wednesday after a Mass led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
The procession went on its route around Manila for several hours with millions of devotees all struggling to touch the beloved image of the Black Nazarene.
The day-long procession ended earlier than the previous year, which lasted for 22 hours after the three wheels of the Nazarene’s carriage broke down.
Director Leonardo Espina of the National Capital Region Police Office said in a text advisory that at least eight million devotees had joined the procession. But other estimates put it to nine million.
The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) said in a text advisory that it had given first aid to 1,410 people as of 5 p.m., 549 of which needed to have their blood pressure checked.
As many as 819 with minor injuries and 35 with major injuries were treated, according to the PNRC, adding that seven patients needed to be transported to a hospital, among them a pregnant woman who went into labor during the procession and later gave birth.
Among those brought to a hospital was an 11-year-old boy, identified as Christian Ramos, who had lacerations on his right eye. He was transported to the Ospital ng Maynila, the PNRC added.