Manila cardinal to devotees: ‘Mirror life lived by Jesus’

Manila cardinal to Nazarene devotees: ‘Mirror life lived by Jesus’

/ 05:40 AM January 10, 2024

Black Nazarene devotees gather around Quiapo Church

Black Nazarene devotees inside Quiapo Church on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. (Photo by ZACARIAN SARAO /

MANILA, Philippines — Celebrating the return of the annual Black Nazarene “traslacion,” or grand procession, after three years, Cardinal Jose Advincula, Manila archbishop, urged devotees on Tuesday to live as Jesus Christ’s example for others.

He said the theme of this year’s Feast of the Black Nazarene, “We want to see Jesus,” reminded Catholics to turn to Jesus and let others see Jesus through them.


“When we see Jesus and when Jesus sees us, we can’t help but want others to see Jesus, to be an instrument for others to see Jesus,” Advincula said during the midnight Mass at Quirino Grandstand, which signaled the start of the procession.


“A true devotee is a model. A devotee’s life mirrors the life lived by Jesus. A devotee is a model of faith in God the Father and compassion for others,” he continued.

“At home or at work, in the church or in the streets, a devotee carries his encounter with Jesus in his heart; that’s why he always shows Jesus,” Advincula stressed.

Tuesday’s event was the first time the traditional parade featured the life-size statue of a dark-skinned Jesus Christ since 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced officials to downsize the event drastically.

Healing powers

Among the Catholic faithful, the Nazarene icon is believed to have healing powers or bring good luck by touching or kissing the image or the ropes attached to its carriage.

Metro Manila police said the participants had reached 3.2 million as of Tuesday afternoon.

But a Church command post estimated that 6.5 million devotees joined the procession, while the crowd peaked at almost 1.4 million in Manila’s Quiapo district alone.


The head of Catholic churches in the capital said pulling the ropes of the carriage bearing the Black Nazarene image during the procession could be likened to Jesus carrying people through their problems.

“During the procession, let us show that Jesus is carrying us toward a new life,” he said.

“Like what we do during the ‘traslacion,’ let us help one another so that we will all see the Lord and feel His love,” said Advincula.

The archbishop presided over the midnight Mass accompanied by several bishops and priests, including Quiapo Church parish priest Fr. Rufino Sescon Jr.

In his homily, Advincula said there was no human experience that Jesus the Nazarene did not see nor understand.

“He sees the suffering of the sick. He sees the exhaustion of the workers. He sees the labors of the poor. He sees the sacrifices of the honest leaders and public servants,” said the cardinal.

Knows hunger pangs

“He knows the cold felt by those without clothing and home. He knows the hunger pangs of the hungry and thirsty. He knows the repentance of sinners,” he continued.

“He sees the efforts of each one of us, the dreams of the children, and the patience of the elderly. He sees us and feels for us. He understands whatever we are going through,” Advincula added.

The Mass ended at around 2 a.m.

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The carriage carrying the Nazarene image began inching its way back to Quiapo Church some three hours later, accompanied by hundreds of thousands of Catholic faithful.

TAGS: Black Nazarene, Jose Advincula, Nazareno 2024

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