Organizers are expecting a bigger crowd this year due to the series of calamities that affected the country the last two years in addition to the influx of devotees and tourists in Manila in anticipation of the arrival of Pope Francis to the country next week. Since the first day of the year, throngs of devotees have been going to the Quiapo Church (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene). Some 8,000 devotees attended the parish thanksgiving mass and procession last Jan. 1.
This afternoon’s procession of the replicas of the Nazareno “will showcase not only centuries-old personal collections of sacred images that have been passed on from generations of devotees but the Filipinos’ unwavering faith, trust, and devotion to the Black Nazarene. It also serves as an offering for the success of the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the country next week,” organizers said.
Tomorrow, Jan. 8, devotees will converge at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, where the Black Nazarene will be brought for an overnight vigil and a series of activities before the early morning grand procession that will bring the image back to the Quiapo Church on Friday. The Traslacion procession recalls the transfer of the Black Nazarene from the Recollect Church in Intramuros, Manila, to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (St. John the Baptist Church or Quiapo Church) in 1787.