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Nazarene devotees urged to make sacrifices

Young continue to be drawn to spectacular religious event

Nazarene devotees urged to make sacrifices
Thousands of people struggle to get near the image of the Black Nazarene in Manila Sunday reporters, Manila

January 10, 2011

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Filipinos were told yesterday to emulate the example of the Black Nazarene and learn to make sacrifices to bring about positive change in the country. Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales made the call in his homily at the predawn mass for the Black Nazarene at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, before the annual procession got under way. “Change is a result of sacrifice. If one is not ready to sacrifice, there will be no change. My brethren, this is what we should see in the image of the Black Nazarene,” he said. The feast of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9 is one of the most spectacular religious events in the Philippines. Despite early morning rain, the procession started just before 7.30, half an hour before schedule. Several devotees waited along the procession route for a chance to get near the carriage bearing the image of the Black Nazarene and touch the image. Those who did so jumped off the carriage and went home. Many devotees ignored appeals and tried to get their children near the carriage bearing the image. Meanwhile, many of the faithful who attended the feast of the Black Nazarene had already gained plenary indulgences, said Father Genaro Diwa, head of the Ministry for Liturgical Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila. “One gains it (plenary indulgence) by going to confession, receiving Holy Communion, praying for the intentions of the Holy Father and making the profession of faith or creed,” he said. According to the Roman Catholic theology, an indulgence is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven. Pope Pius VII initiated the practice in the 1880s of giving plenary indulgences to those who piously pray before the image of the Black Nazarene. Young devotees, meanwhile, believe praying to the Black Nazarene will continue to be an important way of dealing with poverty and vices. Edsel Benitez, 14, who sold towels with the image of the Nazarene on the eve of the procession, felt his three-year devotion gave him good health and a happy relationship with his family. For him, this practice provides guidance among his fellow adolescents who may have been led astray by vices and sinful living. Related reports Pray for the unborn, Black Nazarene devotees told ‘Don’t drink and worship,’ Catholics told Priest defends Black Nazarene devotional practice PR12786.1636
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