Sunday, 10 January 2021 15:58

The Nazareno remains a 'magnet' amidst Pandemic

The day-long celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene last January 9 was started with the dawn Mass at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church by the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo.

Photo by Rian Francis Salamat/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery

Delivering his homily inside the basilica at 4:30 am, where 400 devotees were allowed to come in, Bp. Pabillo preached about how the image of the Black Nazarene continues to attract devotees despite the limitations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Talagang ang Poong Nazareno ay isang magnet. Napakalakas na magnet na ina-attract ang maraming tao sa Kanya at hindi mapipigilan iyung attraction na iyun. Kaya kahit na nagbago ang ating pamamaraan ng pagpahayag ng ating pagmamahal ay patuloy pa rin,” Bishop Pabillo said.

“Kaya hindi na tayo nakapunta sa Luneta, hindi tayo nagtratraslacion, nagkaroon ng prusisiyon pero yung mga tao’y lumalapit pa rin sa Poong Nazareno. At kahit na ngayon, madaling araw, na may curfew pa ay punung puno, hindi lang ang simbahan ngunit ang mga kalsada natin at ang mga kalye natin,” he said.

“Saan ba tayo na-a-attract? Hindi lang po tayo na-a-attract sa isang imahen. Ang isang imahen yan ay tanda lamang na na-a-attract tayo sa p pag-ibig ng Diyos. Kasi yan po ang Poong Nazareno, ang pag-ibig ng Diyos,” he added.

The Apostolic Administrator also stressed that aside from the 15 masses held at Quiapo Church, parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila as well as in other dioceses held their own Fiesta Masses in honor of the Black Nazarene. In the Archdiocese, masses were held at San Sebastian Church and Sta. Cruz Church, the 2 churches closest to the Basilica, to accommodate devotees who were not able to enter Quiapo Church because of the limited number set by the health protocols.

Even before the feast day itself, devotees were encouraged to stay at home and participate in the Mass through live streaming, still, more than 300 thousand devotees flocked and gathered even only at the streets around the church to hear Mass wearing face masks and face shields, and observing social distancing, as required by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for social and religious gathering as the country remains under modified general community quarantine.

Acknowledging the efforts exerted by those who worked hard to prepare and serve during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Bp. Pabillo expressed his gratitude to the clergy of Quiapo Church, the staff, the volunteers especially the Hijos as well as the local and national government.

“Ako’y nagpapasalamat din sa ating local government pati na national government, sila din po’y abala sa atin pati na sa ating mga kapulisan, sa ating mga barangay na andito po upang tulungan tayo, salamat sa inyong lahat lalung lalo na sa inyong mga deboto, maraming salamat po sa inyo,” he added.

Msgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector and Parish Priest of Quiapo Church also expressed his gratitude in an interview with the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications.

“Tayo ay laging biyayaan ng mapagmahal na Poong Nazareno! Nawa ay patnubayan Niya and ating mga pamilya at komunidad.”

Traslacion is the yearly procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta Grandstand to Quiapo Church. Last year’s Traslacion was attended by some 4 million devotees and lasted for 16 hours. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)



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