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’Don’t drink and worship,’ Catholics told

Black Nazarene devotees should be ’spiritually ready’ for famous Philippines procession

The image of the Black Nazarene The image of the Black Nazarene
  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • January 5, 2011
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The rector of Quiapo Church in Manila has warned Catholics not to join the annual procession for the Feast of the Black Nazarene this Sunday drunk.

“We appeal to devotees to spiritually prepare for the procession by praying and going to Mass. Don’t go if you are not prepared,” said Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio.

“Don’t go if you are intoxicated. Instead we should cleanse ourselves as we prepare for this important occasion,” Monsignor Ignacio said.

The priest said the faithful should refrain from drinking alcohol if they want to join the procession. He also discouraged families letting their children join the procession.

“We appeal to families not to bring their kids because a lot of accidents occur with everyone wanting to touch the image of the Nazarene,” he said.

He advised mothers to take their children to the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, for the pahalik (kissing) of the image.

The Black Nazarene, known to devotees as the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo (Our Father Jesus Nazarene of Quiapo), is a life-sized, dark-colored, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ, thought to be a source of miracles.

The image was brought to the Philippines from Mexico by the Augustinian Recollect Missionaries in 1606. It was initially enshrined in the first Recollect church in Bagumbayan (now part of Rizal Park).

Between 1767 and 1790, the Archbishop of Manila ordered the transfer of the Black Nazarene to its present location inside the Minor Basilica at Quiapo Church.

A Mass and a healing service at the park led by Father Benny de Guzman will be held on Jan. 8, and will be followed by an overnight vigil.

A Holy Mass will be celebrated on Jan. 9, followed by the procession returning the image back to the basilica.

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PR12714.1635
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