Devotees swarm Quiapo Church for Black Nazarene
A replica of the image of the Black Nazarene is transferred from the Manila Cathedral to Greenbelt Church in Makati yesterday.
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Devotees swarm Quiapo Church for Black Nazarene

Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - January 4, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of people are flocking to Quiapo Church in Manila amid the COVID-19 pandemic ahead of the feast of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9.

Despite the ban on mass gatherings, at least 45,000 Catholic devotees attended mass at the Quiapo Church on New Year’s Day, Manila Police District director Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco reported yesterday.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed churches to operate at 30 percent capacity under general community quarantine.

The traditional traslacion or procession of the image of the Black Nazarene has been canceled.

Last year’s traslacion, which drew millions of devotees lasted 16 hours.

“Several devotees still attend masses. We don’t have any problems inside the church where they are given masks and face shields. But the challenge is outside the church,” Mayor Isko Moreno said in an interview on CNN Philippines yesterday.

The devotees who congregated outside the church observed physical distancing in Plaza Miranda and along Hidalgo, Villalobos and Carriedo streets, according to Moreno.

Wide television screens were installed outside the church for devotees to watch the mass.

“We will try to manage the devotees outside the church during the celebration of the Nazarene feast. We are planning to close some roads so that we can create some space,” Moreno said.

The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene is holding localized visits of the Nazarene image to churches in Manila and nearby cities until Jan. 8.

The Catholic faithful are encouraged to join masses in nearby Sta. Cruz and San Sebastian churches to decongest Quiapo Church during the feast day.

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