In this photo, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle gives his homily for the midnight mass for the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9, 2019.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
Tagle: Love is the difference between a 'devotee' and a 'fanatic'
( - January 9, 2019 - 11:14am

MANILA, Philippines — Before the celebrated feast of the Black Nazarene that draws millions of the Catholic faithful, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle differentiated a “devotee” from a “fanatic.”

The annual feast of the Nazarene draws millions of the Catholic faithful from all walks of life to Quiapo. The meandering route, stifling heat and the roads swarming with people do not deter Nazarene devotees from joining the Traslacion.

“A real devotee loves. The essence of devotion is love,” Tagle said in his homily for the midnight mass for the feast of the Black Nazarene.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News quoted parts of Tagle’s homily in a report.

The Manila archbishop said that every year questions on the importance of being a devotee are raised.

But he said that what sets a devotee apart from a devotee is love.

“Fanatics only hold to something that gives value to them,” he said, adding:  “A fanatic, once he does not get what he wants, will stop.”

“But a devotee does not share the same reasoning. You are devoted because you love him or her. That’s what Jesus showed us,” Tagle added.

“An overflowing love shows loyalty and service to others. And oneness with God and those you love is not an imitation but union,” Tagle also said.

Authorities said that this year’s procession is expected to draw five million Catholic faithful.

The procession started at around 5 a.m. as the carriage carrying the statue of suffering Jesus Christ moved out of the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park to make its way to Quiapo Church.

READ: What you need to know about the Black Nazarene

Devotees believe that the venerated image can bring miracles, heal sickness and grant requests.

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