January 9 proposed as national feast of the Black Nazarene to Vatican

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
January 9 proposed as national feast of the Black Nazarene to Vatican
A kid attempts to reach the glass which carries the Black Nazarene during the Traslacion on Jan. 9, 2024.
Facebook / TomasinoWeb

MANILA, Philippines — The Archdiocese of Manila has petitioned the Vatican to officially recognize January 9 as the annual national feast of the Black Nazarene, as reported by the news division of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP News).

This was first revealed to the public by Quiapo Church’s rector, Fr. Rufino Sescon, before the concluding rites of the midnight mass for the Traslacion at the Quirino Grandstand.

“Dalangin natin, sa susunod na magkikita tayo, itatanghal ang Enero 9 ng simbahan bilang pambansang pista sa karangalan ng ating Poong Hesus Nazareno,” Sescon said during the mass. 

(It is our prayer that when we meet again next time, the Church will designate January 9 as a national feast in honor of our beloved Black Nazarene.)

In a separate interview with reporters, Sescon said that the Manila Archdiocese is just waiting for the Vatican’s approval. 

"We want it to be a national feast for the Church, so it is up to the bishops and the Pope to discuss this," Sescon said. 

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula led the midnight mass, joined by former Novaliches Diocese Bishops Teodoro Bacani and Antonio Tobias, alongside several priests from Quiapo Church.

During the 126th Plenary Assembly in July last year, the CBCP approved the proposal on the matter.

Annually on January 9, the Traslacion is observed as a parochial feast drawing millions of devotees across the Philippines.

Although it's categorized as a “parochial” event, both local and national governments consistently declare special non-working holidays and suspend classes in Manila every year to facilitate the Traslacion or the procession of the 400-year-old image of Jesus Christ from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church.]

The procession is attended by millions of people coming from all over parts of the Philippines, which can result in the congestion of certain roads in Manila.

RELATED: LIST: Route of the Black Nazarene for Traslacion 2024.

If approved by the Vatican, the Feast of the Black Nazarene will be celebrated by all the churches of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. 

Advicula wrote a letter to the CBCP in May 2023, pointing out that the celebrations become dependent on the priests or the community if a specific national liturgical directive is absent, according to CBCP News.

“Making it a national feast will definitely bring order and most especially joy to the millions of devotees, particularly those who cannot go to Quiapo,” the CBCP News’ report read, quoting Advincula’s letter to CBCP. 

After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Traslacion has resumed.

The Quiapo Church, recognized as the Basilica Minor de Senor Nazareno and canonically known as St. John the Baptist Parish, home to the Black Nazarene, is set to be declared as a national shrine on January 29.

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