Marcos urges Filipinos to find 'new meaning' in passions, sufferings on Black Nazarene commemoration

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Marcos urges Filipinos to find 'new meaning' in passions, sufferings on Black Nazarene commemoration
Roman Catholic devotees raise hands as they attend a mass prior to the start of the religious procession dubbed "walk of faith" as they celebrate the annual feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila on January 8, 2023.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday urged Filipino Catholics to celebrate the Black Nazarene by “finding new meaning in our passions and sufferings as a people.”

In his message, Marcos stressed the event's connection to the Filipino culture of “overcoming the great trials and tribulations in our midst.”

“Indeed, it is through our faith that we can conquer the storms that loom ahead of us and bring forth a life filled with grace and steadfastness,” the chief executive said.

“May the image of Jesus Christ inspire us to center our existence around love, hope, and compassion as we open up ourselves to others and the world during these extraordinary times,” he added.

Marcos also called on the Catholic faithful to embody those values “as we write a new chapter in our nation’s narrative so we can altogether usher in an era of peace and prosperity for all.”

Traditionally, every January 9, devotees of the Black Nazarene hold a grand procession called “traslacion” to commemorate the transfer of the venerated image of the Black Nazarene from Intramuros, Manila to Quiapo in 1767.

January 9 is not the feast of the Black Nazarene as it is celebrated every Good Friday.

Traslacion was suspended for the third consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The historic statue of Jesus Christ is believed to have miraculous powers.

A “Walk of Faith” was held on Sunday morning, with over 80,000 people in attendance. The event was held a day without the venerated statue to reduce the risk of infection.

Marcos declared January 9 a special non-working day in the City of Manila. 

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