Pray for the unborn, Black Nazarene devotees told
Manila festival ’an opportunity to ask God to inspire society to embrace life’
January 6, 2011
This was the call made today by Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, rector of Quiapo Church in Manila, home to the centuries-old Black Nazarene image whose feast will be celebrated by millions on Sunday.
Monsignor Ignacio said the feast is an auspicious event where the Catholic faithful can ask God to bless families and to inspire society to embrace life.
“We are calling on people to value life and pray for the protection of the unborn,” he said.
“Let us also pray for mothers having problems with their pregnancy. Let’s help them. I pray that our nation will be a cradle of life and love,” Monsignor Ignacio added.
The feast of the Black Nazarene in the Quiapo district of Manila is considered one of the biggest and most spectacular religious events in the Philippines.
Every year millions of devotees flock to Quiapo to join the procession and kiss the image of the Nazarene and other statues as an expression of their faith.
Monsignor Ignacio said devotees this year should pray for “divine protection” of human life.
He said he will hold a moment of common prayer for the protection of the unborn during the festivities.
The church in Quiapo has been the venue for several prayer rallies against the passage of a controversial reproductive health bill that seeks to promote the use of contraceptives.
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 in 1606.
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