Devotees with health conditions told: Skipping Traslacion won’t lessen faith
MANILA, Philippines — Devotees of the Black Nazarene with health conditions should not worry if they skip the upcoming Traslacion as it does not make a person less faithful, a priest from the Quiapo Church said on Thursday.
“We encourage do’n sa mga deboto na merong health conditions, like hypertension or sakit sa puso, na they don’t need to participate in the procession,” Fr. Douglas Badong of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene said in a media briefing in Quiapo, Manila.
“Meron naman kaming mga prayers stations na itinalaga kung saan pwedeng maghintay, pwedeng magparticipate na hindi nasa-sacrifice or naapektuhan ‘yong kanilang pagiging devotees,” he added.
The procession of the Black Nazarene relic — an image of a dark Jesus Christ on his knees, carrying the cross — happens every January 9, drawing millions of Catholics giving thanks, or those wishing for better lives and good health.
Numbers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) suggest that around two to four million individuals attended the procession in 2018.
As the carriage moves around Manila, devotees try to get near the statue and wipe it with their towels. However, due to the sheer number of participants, hundreds were injured in past processions, which can span more than 20 hours.
There were also some instances where people died due to fatigue and suffocation.
Badong said that their request to devotees is a way to avoid similar instances that happened in the past.
“In that way, maiiwasan ‘yong mga injuries or ‘yong sakuna with regard to the health and the security of the devotees,” he explained. /je
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