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Thousands in Manila celebrate Black Nazarene feast

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 - 00:33

Jan. 9 - Hundreds of thousands of people join a day-long procession around Manila to celebrate the feast of the Black Nazarene. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Tens of thousands of Filipinos gathered for a mass in Manila on Thursday (January 9) to honour a black statue of Jesus Christ believed to bring miracles to the faithful seeking the answer to prayers. Devotees gathered for an early morning mass at an outdoor auditorium in Manila's largest park, where thousands of people had camped out the night before. Then Roman Catholic devotees flocked around the carriage containing the wooden statue known as the "Black Nazarene" as it crawled through the city, hoping that a slight touch would bless them and heal their illnesses and those of their relatives. Some onlookers threw white towels and handkerchiefs to those on the carriage for them to wipe on the statue, which depicts Jesus kneeling with a heavy cross, in the hope of carrying away some of its healing powers. Some devotees determined to touch or catch sight of the wooden icon, scrambled over people's heads and shoulders as the carriage moved slowly through the crowd. It is not known why the statue, which was carved in Mexico, turned black. There are myths that the original statue donated by Spanish priests was burned as a fire erupted on the ship that carried it to the Philippines in the early 17th century. The procession has been celebrated in the capital of the Philippines, nearly 90 percent of whose population is Roman Catholic, for more than 200 years. The Black Nazarene is also paraded through the city streets on Good Friday.

Thousands in Manila celebrate Black Nazarene feast

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 - 00:33

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