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Did You Know: The Black Nazarene

The procession of the Black Nazarene is a commemoration of the wooden statue’s transfer (traslacion) from a Recollect church in Intramuros, Manila, where it was first enshrined, to St. John the Baptist Church in Quiapo, Manila, on Jan. 9, 1787.
The original statue, which shows a dark-colored Christ bent under the weight of a heavy cross, was made by an unknown Mexican sculptor.
It was brought to the country by Recollect friars in 1607 and was said to have survived a fire while aboard the ship. The image was charred but was preserved, which explains its color.
Filipino Catholic devotees have attributed miracles and answered prayers to the Black Nazarene. Among these is the reported cleaning up of a clogged artery of a radio operator in his 60s. This reportedly happened after he prayed to the Black Nazarene on being told he had to undergo a hugely expensive bypass surgery.
Devotion to the Black Nazarene was encouraged by Pope Innocent X, who issued a papal bull establishing the Confradia de Jesus Nazareno in 1650.
In the 19th century, Pope Pius VII granted indulgence to people who prayed devoutly to the Black Nazarene.
There are two images of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, both hybrids of the original and the replica created by Filipino sculptor Gener Manlaqui. The one paraded every Jan. 9 has the head of the replica and the body of the original, encased in stainless steel to protect it from damage.
During the procession, the image is placed in a carroza pulled by two 50-meter-long ropes and is brought to various barangays (villages) in the Quiapo district.
Police estimated that up to 8 million people joined the procession last year, which lasted for 22 hours, one of the longest processions in history. According to the Quiapo church website, the procession usually lasts between five and 10 hours.—Inquirer Research Did You Know: The Black Nazarene http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/337507/did-you-know-the-black-nazarene January 9, 2013
Quiapo priest: Filipino devotion to Black Nazarene not idolatry

MANILA, Philippines—Why do they keep coming back, barefoot, and in their millions?
The hordes of devotees who will descend on Quiapo, Manila, on Wednesday for the Feast of the Black Nazarene keep coming back and are growing in number because they “encounter the Divine” in the grand procession, one most the most spectacular expressions of religiosity in predominantly Catholic Philippines, a Church official said.
Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, said the feast is a unique expression of Filipino spirituality and popular piety “to experience `heaven’ even for a short glimpse.”
He admitted that there are “abuses” that need to be “purified” but he defended the feast from accusations that it was fomenting “fanaticism and idolatry.”
“Kissing or holding on to the statues is not worshiping statues, it is connecting to the divine, to touch and be touched by heaven itself,” Ignacio said.
“It has been asked of me, why do you allow people to touch the statue? Isn’t it bordering on idolatry? I guess, the view behind that question isn’t really Filipino. Filipinos are a people of `the concrete,’” he said.
Filipino trait
“It is a Filipino trait to want to wipe, touch, kiss, or embrace sacred objects if possible. We Filipinos believe in the presence of the Divine in scared objects and places,” he added.
Ignacio said the devotees want to be connected to the Divine through lining up for the Pahalik (the ritual kissing of the statue), holding on to the vestments of the statue after the Pabihis (the changing of the garments of the Black Nazarene), or touching the rope used to pull the carriage of the Black Nazarene.
“This is a way of expressing one’s faith. It is an expression of their devotion. We all know we don’t worship statues. We worship God and if these statues would `bridge us to Go,’ then we want to connect with God using these statues,” he said.
Quoting the studies of socio-anthropologists Victor and Edith Turner, Ignacio said that the traslacion (the grand procession from the Luneta Grandstand to Quiapo Church) should be viewed as a “pilgrimage” which reaches a phase called “liminity,” or the “experience of the sacred.”
“It is at this point that the pilgrims experience distance and release from mundane structures and institutions where they are placed in their assigned roles and statuses in society,” Ignacio said.
“During the `limen,’ they reach the threshold in and out of time. It is here they receive a `liberation,’ undergoing a direct experience of the sacred, either in the material aspect of miraculous healing or in the immaterial aspect of inward transformation of spirit and personality,” he added.
Holy sites
Ignacio said pilgrims throughout Christian history kept coming back to what they consider as holy sites—like the Quiapo church—because these are believed to be places where miracles happened and could happen again.
“This is the reason why those who experienced pilgrimages keep coming back. It is a wonderful experience to be cleansed, to be one with the peoples, to get in touch with the divine, to experience `heaven’ even for a short glimpse—a kind of `transfiguration,’” he added.
Ignacio said he and the other priests of Quiapo are “humbled” by the intensity and sincerity of the faithful’s show of devotion.
“Maybe, the theological community has not yet fully understood the soul and spirituality of Filipinos. Maybe, our theological paradigms are too western that is why we easily judge the piety of our devotees,” Ignacio quoted one priest as saying.
“One priest even said: `Our theologies might be an elitist theology which we might need to evaluate,” he added.
Correcting abuses
On the other hand, Ignacio said the Church was correcting the perceived abuses in the popular devotion to the Black Nazarene.
These include reminding mandarasals (persons who receive “donations to say prayers) not to make a living out of it, and getting rid of the manghuhulas (soothsayers) and vendors of anting-antings (amulets), black candles (believed bring misfortune on others), and even abortion pills outside the church.
“These are the abuses that we priests are now fighting against in Quiapo and the priests as well as some lay servants have received their share of threats,” Ignacio said.
He said the Church has also stopped the practice of selling the dried sampaguitas offered in the basilica and the oils used for cleaning the Black Nazarene.
“Other practices that became an issue which our parochial vicar had to attend to include the selling of dried sampaguitas offered in Church as well as oils used for cleaning the Black Nazarene. Some took advantage of this and made money out of it,” Ignacio said.
“The parochial vicar controlled this by instituting procedures and giving this out for free to people who request them. He did not stop the practice but simply corrected the abuses,” he added.
Better servant volunteers
He said the Church had also reorganized the parish and its ministries, doubled its personnel and prioritized formation, liturgy and devotions to “bring about a better and more mature corps of servant volunteers.”
“We are experimenting on ways in our recollection giving with our Mamamasans (those who actually pull the carriage of the Black Nazarene) to bring them closer to God,” Ignacio said.
“Our overnight vigils before January 9 is an attempt to reach out to more devotees hoping to bring the good news and share the teachings with them,” he added.
He said the Church also tried to start a tabloid newspaper, a website, and TV Masses but he admitted that “we haven’t reached even a tenth of them.”
“Whether some expressions are delusional or devotional, it is the heart, the interior of the person, that will often decide if an expression is right or wrong … It is only God who could see through the hearts of these peoples,” Ignacio said.
“I hope, before we make easy judgments about devotions, we must fully understand why people express their faith the way they do. Popular piety involves the whole person, not just the mind. It might me a mystical experience even which we do not understand. We only need to respect them,” he added.

Quiapo priest: Filipino devotion to Black Nazarene not idolatry
By Philip C. Tubeza
January 9, 2013 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/337495/quiapo-priest-filipino-devotion-to-black-nazarene-not-idolatry Millions of devotees hoping for miracles

Some people doubt that miracles happen, but at least 11 million Filipinos attest they do and other than the sick getting healed and many getting prosperous in life, others claim their prayers are answered in a hundred and one ways.
Every year, on January 9, millions of Catholics pour into the churchyard and the surrounding streets of Quiapo Parish Church in central Manila to follow a procession of the “Black Christ,” or “Poong Item na Nazareno,” a life-size wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying a cross.
Stories abound of miraculous healings and unusual intercessions as a result of their devotion to the Black Nazarene, and through the years the number of devotees have grown to millions that nearby schools close down, traffic is re-routed and the government makes elaborate plans to maintain peace and order and ensure the safety of the devotees.
The police and Church estimate the number of devotees could swell to 11 million from about seven million last year.
Vic Valencia, media relations officer of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, said they have no records of any miracle that cured a dying or sick person, but he is a small voice in a sea of devotees.
“Miracles do really happen, but they only happen in their hearts,” Valencia said.
Asked why the number of devotees had grown if there were no records of miracles, Jose Clemente Ignacio, the parish priest of Quiapo Church, attribute it to the strong belief and commitment of devotees and identification of Filipinos with the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross.
He says devotees follow the procession because they believe it is a form of atonement for their sins and they also hope for some form of miracle.
“I myself have witnessed numerous miracles, which our Lord of the Black Nazarene has done to people,” Ignacio said.
The sculpture was originally of fair complexion, but it turned dark after it survived a fire on board a galleon ship that brought it to Manila from Acapulco, Mexico in 1606. Many Filipinos consider its survival from the burning ship a miracle.
The image is venerated weekly with Friday novena masses. But on January 9 every year, devotees hold a procession celebrating its transfer and enshrinement to its present location.
During the procession the Black Nazarene is carried into the streets in a shoulder-bourne carriage known to devotees as the Andas (from the Spanish word Andar meaning “to go forward”). The devotees wear maroon shirts and walk barefoot as an act of penance for Jesus on his way to Mount Calvary.
People who have touched the Black Nazarene are reported to have been cured of their diseases. Devotees hurl towels and handkerchiefs to marshalls guarding the Black Nazarene with requests to wipe the statue in hopes of its miraculous powers rubbing off on the cloth, and they yell “Viva Senor.”
But the movement of a huge crowd of people has inherent dangers. People are killed or injured because of a combination of heat, fatigue, and being trampled by other devotees jostling for position.
Danny Evangelista of Masambong, Quezon City, who claims he has been a devotee for the past 30 years, said he does not care that his foot hurt so bad after the procession, which cover several kilometers.
“The aches and blisters disappear after I wash it with soap and water,” he said.
Lilia Cisneros, a 58-year-old mother, said she became a devotee after suffering from a heart stroke and when she was brought to the hospital for a medical CT scan, the image of the Nazarene appeared in her heart on the scanned photos.
“My health improved and that started it all. Since then, I vowed that I will bring my entire family every year to join the Black Nazarene procession,” she said.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who is also a devotee, offers an explanation to the fervent devotion. “To understand the devotee, you have to be a devotee. Only a devotee could best understand a devotee.”

Millions of devotees hoping for miracles
By Vito Barcelo
Jan. 09, 2013 http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/01/09/millions-of-devotees-hoping-for-miracles/ Devotion to the Black Nazarene (A Pastoral Understanding)

INTRODUCTION:
In a recent symposium, at the Loyola School of Theology, where I was invited to share about the Black Nazarene Devotion, Questions were posed by the students regarding the faith expression of the devotees to the Black Nazarene. They asked:
1. In my experience as a pastor, how do I look at the genuineness in the faith expressions of the devotees of the Black Nazarene?
2. What can I say about the criticism that the devotion to the Nazareno is prone to abuse because it seems to border on idolatry?
3. What have been the abuses/excesses in the devotion? If there are, how do I, as a pastor, correct them? How could the theologians and future ministers be able to help?
4. What can I say about the judgement that the devotion to the Black Nazarene is a wrong devotion because the Nazareno is a symbol of despair and suffering and that we should use symbols that promotes hope for the Filipino?”
I felt inadequate talking about the topic because I consider myself inexperienced regarding the subject matter. I grew up in a world different from the world of the regular devotees of Quiapo Church. My mother was in a better position to talk about this devotion since she is a devotee of the Black Nazarene. My only vivid memory of my encounter with this devotion was when I was a child, my mother brought me to Quiapo Church and she started kneeling down and began to process on bended knees to the altar. I kept telling her: “Mommy, tumayo ka na nga diyan! Nakakahiya ka! Lahat nakatingin na sa iyo! Parang awa mo na! (Oh mom, please, for God’s sake, stand up! You’re such a disgrace! People are looking at us! Please, stop this non sense!)” Until we reached the altar, I kept arguing why she had to do that and if she could just stand up! It was so humiliating but not for her - for me.
As you can see, I did not have a heart for the devotion then. I could not understand what she was doing. This was also where I stood as I grew up. All my formation both in school and in the seminary was locked up in the four walls of the religious run University I studied in and I came to realize, it was not the world of many Filipinos.

POPULAR RELIGIOSITY IN THE PAST:
One of the things I took time trying to understand in school was Popular Religiosity. Popular Religiosity, as it was understood then – it seems – by many, had to do with those practices considered ‘outside’ of the normally acceptable and universally approved liturgical practices. They were not according to norm and was not encouragingly given its place in the approved cultic celebrations of our Church. It was not among the more popular topics our professors gave much attention to. The conception was that there were many elements here that needed purification.
I started to have a wrong concept that these practices did not fit the theological framework of our prayers and liturgies. I then found myself becoming cautious about popular religious practices. Some of them were judged to be superstitious and even fanatical. The better way of expressing one’s piety was through retreats and recollections. Folk Religiosity was of a ‘lower level’ of faith expression.
But there were some professors who did encourage us to open the doors to the study of popular religiosity. They said it was a great potential for evangelization and the task ahead was to understand and embrace them once more and bring these practices back into the approved cultic life of the Church.

UNDERSTANDING THE DEVOTION:
This was the reason why I became interested and made a paper, as a student of theology, about the Antipolo Pilgrimage Experience. My research on the Pilgrimage Experience helped me a lot to understand what many Catholic Filipinos experience during processions, religious festivals and the Holy Week. Two socio-anthropologists’ Turner and Turner helped me with their vast research on Pilgrimages. They even helped me later on to understand the El Shaddai phenomenon and even the Edsa Revolution. It gave me a framework of understanding our people’s way of expressing their faith.
Victor and Edith Turner see pilgrimages as following a basic framework known as the Rite of Passage. This was borrowed from Arnold Van Gennep who saw the Right of Passage involved three phases: 1. SEPERATION 2. LIMINAL PHASE 3. AGGREGATION

The Right of Passage is the paradigm for our understanding of the Traslacion Procession and the Devotional Practices to the Black Nazarene. The key is the point of 'liminality'. It is at this point that the pilgrims experience distance and release from mundane structures and institutions where they are placed in their assigned roles and statuses in society. During the “limen”, they reach the threshold in and out of time. It is here they receive a “liberation”, undergoing a direct experience of the sacred, either in the material aspect of miraculous healing or in the immaterial aspect of inward transformation of spirit and personality.
In the history of Christianity, the Turners observed that as monasticism assumed much of the liminal experience, ordinary lay peasants and citizens generated their own liminality which was the pilgrimage experience. All the sites they went to have one thing in common – they were believed to be places where miracles once happened, still happen and may happen.
This is the reason why those who experienced pilgrimages keep coming back. It is a wonderful experience to be cleansed, to be one with the peoples, to get in touch with the divine, to experience “heaven” even for a shortglimpse – a kind of a ‘transfiguration’. Devotees as well as pilgrims keep coming back to those sacred places or events.
The paradigm underlying Christian Pilgrimages is the VIA CRUCIS. It is the VIS CRUCIS, with all its purgatorial elements which serves as the form of penance and prayer. While the Monastics made interior salvific journeys, the lay people, who were in the world, exteriorized theirs in pilgrimages. It was their great quasi-liminal experience, an exteriorized mysticism according to the Turners.
The secret about Christian Pilgrimages is the inward movement of the heart, an intensifying experience of one’s faith and religion. It is a voluntary acceptance to undergo the paschal mystery of Christ, being initiated into the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ. In being submerged into the paschal mystery of Christ, heaven opens up, symbols become meaningful, awe, reverence and silence manifests one’s disposition to receive the imprint of the sacred in his/her life. Bonding, cleansing, healing, and joy are the fruits of coming home to the Life of the Trinity.

PRACTICES OF THE DEVOTION:
There was one Jesuit Scholastic then who helped me understand the concepts which the Turners have elucidated. He was himself a “devotee of sorts” and would walk going to Antipolo barefoot starting from Quiapo Church on the eve of May 1 . He had many other devotions and practices, which he introduced to me. He collected and shared stories about the miracles experienced through statues he related to. He collected prayer books, novenas, and cloths that touched sacred objects or places. He even had precious relics of the saints.
I would sometimes borrow these relics of the saints from him when I was not able to study for an oral exam and would put the relic in my pocket asking for the intercession of the saint. Whether I was practicing superstition or simple faith – the fact is – I was never turned down in my request and got passing grades because of this. This Jesuit who is now a priest has been a successful pastor of souls to many simple people. He continues to be a prayerful person in a very Filipino way. He is Fr. Benny de Guzman, SJ who has been helping us a lot in Quiapo and has been repeatedly requested by the parishioners and devotees for talks and recollections.
Quiapo Church has been a witness to several practices of Popular Piety. They have become part of the Devotion to the Black Nazarene. Among them are the following: The Pahalik (kissing of the statues, Pasindi (lighting of multi-coloured candles outside of the Church), Padasal (from the Mandarasals or the Priests), Pabihis (the changing of the garments of the Black Nazarene), Pabendision (sprinkling of Holy Water after masses or the kissing of the hands of the priests), Pahawak (touching of the statues or the garments of the Black Nazarene), Pamisa (Mass Offerings), Pagnonobena (Novena prayers or masses), Pagpasan (Carrying of the wood of the carroza or the rope attached to it), Pagyayapak (walking barefoot during processions), Paglalakad ng Paluhod (processing to the altar on bended knees).
There are also many other practices I discovered like; asking the priests to bless oils or bottled water to bring home to the sick; asking for dried sampaguitas offered in the church again to bring home; cutting up the vestments of the Black Nazarene as well as the rope used during the procession as a relic; wiping sacred images with towels; selling of crucifixes and handkerchiefs with the face of the Black Nazarene; and the bringing of the Hands of the Black Nazarene to the sick. I have been asking myself questions: Are these practices good or bad? Should they be allowed to continue or should they be stopped? Some are saying it is bordering on fanaticism and the people should simply stick to the approved liturgies namely the Eucharist and the other celebrations found in the Missal. Some say they are remnants of the animistic faith of the past which the Church has not yet totally ‘Christianized’.

REFLECTIONS ON THE PRACTICES OF THE DEVOTIONS:
The priests of Quiapo discuss these matters often. The media has a lot of criticisms to say to the pastors of Quiapo Church. They echo what some people say that the practices are superstitious, fanatical and even idolatrous. I don’t know, but after being submerged in the life of the ordinary devotees, the pastors of Quiapo are one in the feeling that they have been humbled in their priesthood the more they get to understand and encounter the faith of the simple people. From where ordinary parishioners stand, one can feel the intensity and sincerity of their devotion. One priest said, “Baka hindi pa lubos na nauunawaan ng theological community ang kaluluwa at espiritualidad ng mga Pilipino (Maybe, the theological community has not yet fully understood the soul and spirituality of Filipinos). Baka ang ating mga ‘paradigm’ sa teolohiya ay masyadong ‘Western’ kaya ang dali-dali nating maghusga tungkol sa debosyon ng mga mananampalataya (Maybe, our theological paradigms are too western that is why we easily judge about the piety of our devotees)”. One priest even said: “Our theologies might be an elitist theology which we might need to evaluate.”
As one of the pastors of Quiapo Church, I have always faced issues that had to do with the devotion to the Black Nazarene. For example, one of the first issues presented to me was: Should I tolerate the ‘Mandarasals’ (persons sought out for prayers) at the back of the Church or not? Apparently, they are ‘bothering’ some people, because these Mandarasals look like they are trying to earn a living using prayers. I called for the Mandarasals one day in my office. I asked them, “When did this tradition begin?”. They could not remember; all they knew was that their great, great grandparents were Mandarasals already. One of them even said, “... Panahon pa po ng mga Español (It might date back to the Spanish Occupation...)”. This practice of praying for others, institutionalized in the Church of Quiapo, has been passed on from generation to generation. I learned that the Mandarasals were very serious about their praying. They devote hours and hours of praying in front of their altars in their homes or capilletas in order to pray for the intentions of their clients. Even priests sometimes ask them for prayers. When they were sharing their lives to me, I saw that behind their ‘ornamental displaying’ at the rear of the Church, is a witnessing to an age old teaching of the Church regarding intercessory praying. I could not go against the good I saw when I interviewed them. So, I said to them – “Hindi ko kayo paaalisin ngunit may mga kundisyon (I won’t take you out of the Church but on the following conditions): 1) Huwag silang sisingil at huwag nilang gawin hanap buhay ang pandarasal (Don’t commit simony). 2) Huwag nilang sisirain ang magandang tradisyon ng kanilang mga ninuno na nagseryoso sa kanilang pandarasal sa Kapwa (Don’t destroy the beautiful tradition of their ancestors). 3) Kapag may misa, titigil sila sapagkat ang misa ang mas mahalaga at pinakamainam na pagdarasal (They respect the Eucharist). 4) Huwag na silang daragdag at baka kalahati na ng simbahan ay mapuno ng mga Mandarasal! Baka kasi mapasukan ang simbahan ng mga hindi galing sa ‘Orden ng mga Mandarasals’ kasi meron ngang mga peke at naghahanap buhay lamang (Don’t allow fake Madarasals to enter). Kung masira itong mga kundisyones, sabi ko, palalabasin ko sila (If they destroy the conditions, they will be sent out). ” I allowed them to receive benefits from the people because the laborer is worth his keep... at hindi lang naman mga pari at madre ang maaaring bigyan ng abuloy sa kanilang pandarasal, kundi pati na rin ang mga laykong nagdarasal ( and lay people have a right to receive donations for their services). Later on, I started to invite them to attend formation seminars, bible studies and be a member of our organizations. I also instructed our formation ministry to help them acquire basic counselling skills since people who go to them and ask prayers from them are people with problems. I also saw – and I think this is only expected and understandable – that we priests in the confessional are not answering some ‘counselling’ needs of the many people coming to Church; the Mandarasals, however, are somehow filling up the lack.
Other practices that became an issue which our parochial vicar had to attend to was the selling of dried sampaguitas offered in the Church as well as oils used for cleaning the Black Nazarene. Some took advantage of this and made money out of it. The parochial vicar controlled this by instituting procedures and give this out for free to people who request them. He did not stop the practice but simply corrected the abuses.
The point I wish to emphasize is that behind some of these practices, people want something to bring home, may it be a rosary, a handkerchief or dried sampaguitas. They believe that the Shrine is a holy place and that objects that touched that holy place – be they sacred statues or ornaments in the Church – would somehow bring the presence of the divine into their homes. I guess that is what we also do in the Church – relics, may they be first class, second class or third class, have been part of the practice of piety in our Church. They have been a source of spiritual favors and a strengthening of the life of the faithful. If poor people cannot have access to those rare relics of the Church, can’t our poor people also create relics from those that they experienced as holy and bring these home with them to fulfil their spiritual needs?

THE NEED TO TOUCH AND BE TOUCHED BY HEAVEN:

It has been asked of me, why do you allow the people to touch the statue? Isn’t it bordering on idolatry? I guess, the view behind that question isn’t really Filipino. Filipinos are a people of ‘the concrete’. Our expressions are expressed ‘in the concrete’. This is an Asian trait. 'Christ was Asian!' according to one of the statements affirmed by the International Gathering of Asian Shrine Rectors. That is why, in the bible, Christ touched the sick, the children and sinners. The crowds too were pushing on Jesus, wanting to touch Him. Remember the woman who was sick with a hemorrhage. When Jesus asked who touched him, the disciples complained that there were many people touching him and he asked the question who touched him? The woman believed that if she could only touch Jesus, then she would be healed and true enough, her faith healed her. It is a Filipino trait to want to wipe, touch, kiss, or embrace sacred objects, if possible. We Filipinos believe in the presence of the Divine in sacred objects and places. The people want to be connected to the Divine, be it through the lining up for the Pahalik; or holding on to the vestments of the Nazareno after the Pabihis; or to be able to touch the rope and put it on their shoulders - this is a way of expressing one’s faith. It is an expression of their devotion. We all know we don’t worship statues. We worship God and if these statues would ‘bridge us to God’, then we want to connect with God using these statues. Kissing or holding on to the statues is not worshipping statues, it is connecting to the divine, to touch and be touched by heaven itself. When I scolded a child for joining the procession and touching the statue, I asked her: “Bakit mo ginawa iyon? (Why did you squeeze through the crowd and touch the statue – that is dangerous!)” The child answered, “Kasi po kung mahawakan ko siya, mabebendisyonan na Niya ako at maririnig Niya ang aking panalangin! (Because if I touch the statue, I will be blessed and Jesus will hear my prayers!)”
People go to Quiapo Church because they believe that God’s presence and power is more intense in this Shrine. A theologian once said: “Shrines are places here on earth where the veil that separates heaven and earth has a tear.” I guess our task is not to destroy popular practices, but to understand them and re-focus them so that a more sound faith may develop. One of our problems in Quiapo is how to multiply the possibilities where people could get in touch with the Divine in a way that would not cause harm to them or their faith. We also need to deepen the devotees’ encounter with our Lord. We have just tried to begin regular Holy Hours and Benedictions and reviewed our liturgies and prayers to reach the soul of our devotees. We have increased the schedules of our pilgrim images visiting parishes and dioceses all over the Philippines. We have begun a liturgy for the changing of the garments of the Black Nazarene which culminates in the devotees’ touching of the used garment of the Black Nazarene. We have also started healing services every Thursday before First Fridays where priests are invited to lay their hands on the devotees.

WHAT IS NEEDED?

If there are many things to do in Quiapo, it is not to destroy what the people have already been practicing but to improve, and nurture the faith of the people. There are “many levels in the faith” of our devotees (borrowing from St. Paul). Some are young, some are more mature. What is needed is for the devotees to understand their faith a little bit more, and put things in their right perspective. With proper formation, we hope the devotees could experience more the love of God in their lives and realize their faith in Jesus. When Fr. Venus and I came to Quiapo, we saw that through the decades, the memberships in the organizations, as well as devotees coming to the Church, have grown faster than what the institution could cope up with. And so, under the advice of His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, we have taken baby steps, reorganizing the parish and its ministries, doubling the personnel and prioritizing formation, liturgy and devotions, in order to bring about a better and more mature corps of servant volunteers, who would have an influence on the people who come and go to Quiapo and join the processions. We are also experimenting on ways in our recollection giving with our Mamamasans to bring them closer to God. I was struck when Fr. Jack Padua used the rope and the image of the Black Nazarene during his recollections and it became very meaningful to the devotees.
Abuses, superstition or occultism in the devotion? Surely, there are things that still need to be purified in our expressions. Human as they are, our expressions need to achieve their perfection. Some go wayward like people who claim they are God the Father or God the Son or when objects are used to enslave people and not free them, such as the anting antings or the black candles sold outside of Quiapo Church to bring misfortune upon people who they believed have wronged them. The Manghuhulas outside of the Church have been a familiar site. These are the things that need purification.
Whether some expressions are delusional or devotional, it is the heart, the interior of the person, that will often decide if an expression is right or wrong. Remember the woman whom Jesus defended, who kissed his feet and washed them with her tears? It is only God who could see through the hearts of peoples. I hope, before we make easy judgements about devotions, we must first understand why people express their faith the way they do. Those who could judge better about these acts of religiosity are those who understand fully the heart of the devotee. I admit, I am still trying to understand the heart and the life of the devotee. I am still far from being considered a true devotee.
Regarding abuses, the abuses I was able to identify comes not from the expression of the people’s faith or devotion, but from those who manipulate the devotion and use it for their own ends, either to create influence or make money out of it. Such are those who solicit for their own ends or manipulate others who are in desperate situations like predicting your future or selling abortion pills. These are the abuses which we priests are now fighting against in Quiapo and the priests as well as some lay servants have received their share of threats.
Regarding the lack of doctrinal understanding of the people’s faith, it is not the people’s fault. The fault lies in the people’s lack of opportunities for formation. One time, a group of pilgrims came to Quiapo early morning. They came from Laguna but went on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady in Agoo. They were so tired and hungry when they passed by Quiapo Church on their way back to Laguna. The guards, dismissing them as 'spiritistas' and practising the occult, did not entertain them. When I saw them, I asked the guards to let them in and I invited them to my office. When they entered my office, they made the rounds of touching all the saints with reverence and prayer. Then I asked them to be seated before our board room table to eat whatever I was able to get from our fridge and the pantry. Then, I asked them who they were and what they do. They said they belong to a community of praying persons. They had on their t-shirts the triangular symbol of the Trinity and some latin words inscribed around it with the familiar symbol “IHS”. They shared with me their lives and the exorcisms they do. They take care of two chapel communities and the priest in their parish recognized one already. Their growing charism has been felt in their community but the priest is still cautious due to their need for proper formation. They presented some questions about the faith and I had to answer and explain certain things. I even tried to explain some Latin words so familiar to them but its meaning, they didn’t know. Their intentions were good and they really prayed and wanted evil to go away in the lives of their parishioners. What saddened me was the lack of opportunities for their 'shepherding' - they needed someone to guide them so that they could understand more what they were doing but the priests in the provinces are so busy and burdened with the needs of their vast jurisdiction. These people go on regular retreats up in the mountains, and their spirituality is characterized by openness and the readiness to listen. They are often judged to be ‘spiritistas’ in the negative sense and that they practice the occult. I believe, with proper formation and redirection, their ministry and symbols could be a greater contribution to the Church.
Many devotees in Quiapo and those who appear once a year during the processions are in the same state – that is, they need to be given opportunities to be formed in the faith. Slowly, we have tried to reach out to more Mamamasans but we are only ‘scratching the surface’. Our overnight vigils before January 9 is an attempt to reach out to more devotees hoping to bring the good news and share the teachings of the Church with them. We have tried to begin a tabloid newspaper, a website and TV Masses. We haven’t reached even a tenth of them.
We don’t even know if these catechisms speak to their practices of piety during those 'cathartic moments' of the procession. How to put reason in their faith, and do it in such a way that we do not destroy the spontaneity of their faith-expressions, much less, Westernize them with a theology that is alien to their Filipino spirit – I don’t know. Yes, Faith and Reason must go together, but what if our frameworks are not Filipino Friendly? Popular Piety involves the whole person, not just the mind. It is not a head thing. It might be a mystical experience even which we do not understand. We only need to respect them. I really don’t know if we could combine reason in pious practices. Some of the devotees felt bad when I stopped the procession and changed the carroza because the carroza was causing accidents. For the devotees, they were ready for it and the accidents were part of their sacrifice. I guess, we shall leave the answers to the theological communities. We are simply pastors out in the field. Their reflections will greatly be of assistance to us.

WHY IS THE DEVOTION GROWING?
Interestingly, the Protestants have begun analysing the devotion to the Black Nazarene. They identified three elements why Catholics devoted to the Black Nazarene are growing. They cited three reasons: 1) Miracles and Healing 2) The identification of the Filipinos with the Sufferings of Jesus Christ and 3) The Panata/Commitment. I agree with the reasons stated here. I myself had witnessed numerous miracles which Our Lord of the Black Nazarene has done to peoples.
So, why are devotees growing? Fr. Tony de Castro, SJ was right when he said, it is the Black Nazarene! I would like to join the expression of the disciples of Jesus when he appeared to them after the resurrection: “IT IS THE LORD!” It is the Lord who is alive and present in the Shrine at Quiapo! It is the Lord who does all these miracles and answers the prayers of those who come to Him! It is the Lord who has that special affection to the poor and the weak who come to Him in Quiapo! It is the Lord who appears to people in dreams or calls them through events in their lives so that He could embrace them and save them! It is the Lord who loves and builds this Church in Quiapo! This is the experience of the devotees and we could understand why the people come to Quiapo and why some are even willing to risk their lives in such a dangerous procession.
[Just an addendum before I end this talk. People say, the devotion to the Black Nazarene is a wrong devotion because it promotes the sufferings of Christ and not hope. On the contrary, if we look at the image more carefully, it is actually a snapshot of Christ standing up after the fall. When I had a replica of the image of the Black Nazarene done by a sculptor, he portrayed a Christ who was so overburdened with the cross, gasping, and had his shoulders down. The people reacted. They said, “Hindi diretso ang balikat ni Hesus! Hindi nagpapadaig si Hesus sa bigat ng Krus! Dapat, tumatayo si Kristo! (The shoulders aren’t straight! Christ does not give up in carrying His cross! He stood up after each fall!)” So, the image went back to the drawing board. The Black Nazarene for the true devotee is really a symbol of hope and resilience. I guess it says something about the Filipino and his faith.]

CONCLUSION:

I wish to end this talk on the Nazarene Devotion with the quote from Pope Benedict encouraging the seminarians to consider Popular Piety. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI, in a letter to the Seminarians said this:
"I urge you to retain an appreciation for popular piety, which is different in every culture yet always remains very similar, for the human heart is ultimately one and the same. Certainly, popular piety tends towards the irrational, and can at times be somewhat superficial. Yet it would be quite wrong to dismiss it. Through that piety, the faith has entered human hearts and become part of the common patrimony of sentiments and customs, shaping the life and emotions of the community. Popular piety is thus one of the Church’s great treasures. The faith that has taken flesh and blood. Certain popular piety always needs to be purified and refocused yet it is worthy of our love and it truly makes us into the 'People of God" (From the Vatican, 18 October 2010, Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist.)
The former Papal Nuncio and the Priests of the Nunciature came to Quiapo the next day after the January 9, 2011 procession. They requested to visit the statue of the Black Nazarene. I brought them to the chamber that kept the image in its quiet. When the former Nuncio, His Excellency Most Rev. Edward Joseph Adams, DD and the priests entered, they were silent in prayer. Then, the Nuncio knelt and kissed the hand of the Black Nazarene. So did his priests. After this, he took his rosary from his pocket and wiped it at the hands of Our Lord of the Black Nazarene. Two devotions meeting, the devotion to our Blessed Mother and to Our Lord of the Black Nazarene! I then realized what great treasures we have as Filipinos – our devotions – and among them is this Devotion to the Black Nazarene! VIVA NUESTRO PADRE JESUS NAZARENO!

Devotion to the Black Nazarene (A Pastoral Understanding)
Msgr. Jose Clemente F. Ignacio
Rector/Parish Priest
September 8, 2011 http://quiapochurch.com:8080/MBBN/featured/features-articles/devotion-to-the-black-nazarene-a-pastoral-understanding The Devotion to the Black Nazarene

One of the things I took time trying to understand in school was Popular Religiosity, those practices considered outside of the normally acceptable and universally approved liturgical practices. They were not according to norm and were not given its place in the approved cultic celebrations of our Church. There were many elements that needed purification.
Presuming that these practices did not fit the theological framework of our prayers and liturgies, I found myself becoming cautious about them, since some were judged to be superstitious and even fanatical. I thought the better way of expressing one’s piety was through retreats and recollections, Folk Religiosity being of a lower level of “faith expression.”
But there were some professors who encouraged us to open the doors to popular religiosity. They said it was a great potential for evangelization and the task ahead was to understand and embrace them once more and bring these practices back into the approved cultic life of the Church.
As a student of theology I became interested and wrote a paper about the Antipolo Pilgrimage Experience. My research helped me to understand what many Catholic Filipinos undergo during processions, religious festivals and Holy Week. Two socio-anthropologists, Turner and Turner, helped me later on to understand processions, the El Shaddai, and even the Edsa Revolution. It gave me a framework of understanding our people’s way of expressing their faith.
Fr. Benny de Guzman, S.J., a Jesuit Scholastic at that time who understood what popular piety was all about became my best resource person. Himself a “devotee of sorts”, he would walk from Quiapo Church to Antipolo barefoot. He told me stories of miracles he had experienced with the statues he encountered. He collected prayer books, novenas, and cloths that touched sacred objects or places and he even had precious relics of the saints.
Sometimes I would borrow these relics from him and put one in my pocket, asking for the intercession of the saint. I was never turned down in my request. Fr. Benny has been a successful pastor of souls to many simple people. He continues to be a prayerful person in a very Filipino way. I would sometimes visit his house in Marikina which has become a pilgrimage site for many. He has been helping us a lot in Quiapo and has been repeatedly requested by the parishioners and devotees for talks and recollections.
Quiapo Church has been a witness to several practices of Popular Piety, which have become part of the Devotion to the Black Nazarene. Among them are the Pahalik (kissing of the statues), Pasindi (lighting of multi-coloured candles outside of the church), Padasal (from the Mandarasals or the Priests), Pabihis (the changing of the garments of the Black Nazarene), Pabendision (sprinkling of holy water after Masses or the kissing of the hands of the priests), Pahawak (touching of the garments of the Black Nazarene), Pamisa (Mass Offerings), Pagnonobena (Novena prayers or Masses), Pagpasan (Carrying of the wood of the carroza or the rope attached to it), Pagyayapak (walking barefoot during processions), Paglalakad ng Paluhod (processing to the altar on bended knees).
Other practices I discovered were requesting priests to bless oils or bottled water to bring home to the sick; asking for dried sampaguitas offered in the church again to bring home; cutting up the vestments of the Black Nazarene, as well as the rope used during the procession, and veneratig them as relics; wiping sacred images with towels; selling of crucifixes and handkerchiefs with the face of the Black Nazarene; and bringing the Hands of the Black Nazarene to the sick. Are these practices good or bad? Should they be allowed to continue? Some say: this is already bordering on fanaticism and the people should simply stick to the approved liturgies. They are remnants of the animistic faith of the past which the Church has not yet totally “Christianized.”
The priests of Quiapo discuss these matters often. The media echo what some people say: the practices are superstitious, fanatical and even idolatrous. The pastors of Quiapo Church, after being submerged in the life of the ordinary devotees, feel that the more they get to understand and see the faith of the simple people, the more they have been humbled in their priesthood. From where ordinary parishioners stand, one can feel the intensity and sincerity of their devotion. One of the priests said, “Maybe, the theological community has not yet fully understood the soul and spirituality of Filipinos. Maybe, our theological paradigms are too western we easily misjudge the piety of our devotees.”
As one of the pastors of Quiapo Church, I have always faced issues that have to do with the devotion to the Black Nazarene. Should I tolerate the ‘Mandarasals’ (persons sought out for prayers) at the back of the Church or not? This practice of praying for others, institutionalized in the Church of Quiapo, has been passed on from generation to generation. Very serious in their praying, the Mandarasals devote hours praying in front of their altars in their homes or capilletas for the intentions of their clients. I saw that behind their ornamental displays at the rear of the Church, is a witnessing to an age-old teaching of the Church regarding intercessory praying. I could not go against the good I saw when I interviewed them. Later on, I started to invite them to attend formation seminars and bible studies. I also instructed our formation ministry to help them acquire basic counselling skills since people who go to them and ask for prayers are people with problems. I also saw that we priests in the confessional are not answering some “counselling” needs of the many people coming to Church, needs which the Mandarasals are somehow fulfilling.
People believe that the Shrine is a holy place and that objects there they touch, bring the presence of the divine into their homes. If poor people cannot have access to those rare relics of the Church, can’t our poor people also create relics from those that they experienced as holy and bring these home with them to fulfill their spiritual needs?
Why do we allow people to touch the statue? Isn’t it bordering on idolatry? We do it because we, Filipinos, are people of “concrete”. As Asians we are expressive, like Christ was when he touched the sick, children and sinners and allowed others to touch Him. Remember the woman, sick with a hemorrhage who touched him?
Being Filipino, we want to wipe, touch, kiss, or embrace sacred objects, believing somehow the presence of the Divine in them. The people want to be connected to the Divine, be it through the lining up for the Pahalik; the holding on to the vestments of the Nazareno after the Pabihis; or to be able to touch the rope and put it on their shoulders - a way of expressing one’s faith. We all know Filipinos don’t worship statues. We worship God and if these statues would bridge us to God, we want to connect with God, using these statues.
Our task is not to destroy popular practices, but to understand them and re-focus them so that a more sound faith may develop. We think of ways people could get in touch with the Divine without causing them harm or weakening their faith. We have now begun regular Holy Hours and Benedictions; we have increased our pilgrimages to parishes and dioceses all over the Philippines; we have begun a liturgy for the changing of the garments of the Black Nazarene, which culminates with the touching of the garments after the rite; we have started healing services every Thursday before First Fridays when priests are invited to lay their hands on the devotee.
In Quiapo, we do not destroy what the people have already been practicing but we try to improve and nurture their faith. There are “many levels in the faith” of our devotees. Some are young, some more mature. What is needed is for the devotees to understand their faith a little bit more, and put things in their right perspective. With proper formation, we hope the devotees could experience more the love of God in their lives and realize their faith in Jesus.
When Fr. Venus and I came to Quiapo, we saw that through the decades the memberships in the organizations, as well as devotees coming to the Church, have grown faster than we could cope with. And so, we have taken steps, reorganizing the parish and its ministries, doubling the personnel and prioritizing formation, liturgy and devotions, in order to bring about a better and more mature corps of servant-volunteers to organize the people who come to Quiapo to join the processions. We are also experimenting on ways to bring people closer to God.
Abuses, superstition or occultism in the devotion? Surely, some of the expressions used in the devotion need to be modified. Whether the expressions are delusional or devotional, however, it is the heart, the interior of the person, that will often decide if an expression is right or wrong. It is only God who could see through the hearts of peoples. I hope, before we make easy judgements about devotions, we must first understand why people express their faith the way they do. Those who could judge better about these acts of religiosity are those who understand fully the heart of the devotee.
Regarding abuses, the ones I was able to identify come, not from the expression of the people’s faith or devotion, but from those who manipulate the devotion and use it for their own ends, and which we priests in Quiapo are now fighting against. The people are not at fault for this. The fault lies in their lack of opportunities for formation, their lack of “shepherding’. They need someone to guide them so that they could understand more what they are doing. These people go on regular retreats up in the mountains, and their spirituality is characterized by openness and the readiness to listen. They are often misjudged as spiritistas practicing the occult. I believe, with proper formation, their ministry and symbols could be a great contribution to the Church.
Many devotees in Quiapo and those who appear once a year during the processions are in the same state – that is, they need to be given opportunities to be formed in the faith. Our overnight vigils are an attempt to reach out to more devotees, hoping to bring the good news and share the teachings of the Church with them. We don’t even know if these catechisms speak to their practices of piety during those ‘cathartic moments’ of the procession. How to put reason in their faith, and do it in such a way that we do not destroy the spontaneity of their faith-expressions, much less, Westernize them with a theology that is alien to their Filipino spirit – I don’t know. Yes, Faith and Reason must go together, but what if our frameworks are not Filipino Friendly? Popular Piety involves the whole person, not just the mind. It is not a head thing. It might be a mystical experience which even we do not understand. We only need to respect them. I really don’t know if we could combine reason in pious practices.
Interestingly, the Protestants have begun analysing the devotion to the Black Nazarene. They identified three reasons why Catholic devotion to the Black Nazarene is growing: 1) Miracles and Healing 2) Filipinos’ identification with the Sufferings of Jesus Christ and 3) The Panata / Commitment. Having myself witnessed numerous miracles which Our Lord of the Black Nazarene has done to people, I fully agree with them.
So, why are devotees increasing? Fr. Tony de Castro, SJ was right when he said, it is the Black Nazarene! It is the Lord who is alive and present in the Shrine at Quiapo! It is the Lord who does all these miracles and answers the prayers of those who come to Him! It is the Lord who has that special affection for the poor and the weak who come to Him in Quiapo!
People say, the devotion to the Black Nazarene is a wrong devotion because it promotes the sufferings of Christ and not hope. On the contrary, if we look at the image more carefully, we actually see Christ standing up after the fall. When I had a replica of the Black Nazarene done by a sculptor, he portrayed a Christ who was so overburdened with the cross, he was gasping and had his shoulders down. The people reacted. They said, “Hindi diretso ang balikat ni Hesus! Hindi nagpapadaig si Hesus sa bigat ng Krus! Dapat, tumatayo si Kristo! (The shoulders aren’t straight! Christ does not give up in carrying His cross! He stood up after each fall!)”
Let me end with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to the seminarians, encouraging them to consider Popular Piety:
I urge you to retain an appreciation for popular piety, which is different in every culture yet always remains very similar, for the human heart is ultimately one and the same. Certainly, popular piety tends towards the irrational, and can at times be somewhat superficial. Yet it would be quite wrong to dismiss it. Through that piety, the faith has entered human hearts and become part of the common patrimony of sentiments and customs, shaping the life and emotions of the community. Popular piety is thus one of the Church’s great treasures. The faith that has taken flesh and blood. Certain popular piety always needs to be purified and refocused yet it is worthy of our love and it truly makes us into the ‘People of God. (From the Vatican, 18 October 2010, Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist) The Devotion to the Black Nazarene Msgr. Jose Clemente F. Ignacio January 19, 2011 http://phjesuits.org/the-windhover-online/57-the-windhover-march-2011/1155-the-devotion-to-the-black-nazarene Procession of the Black Nazarene

The largest procession
The procession of the Black Nazarene is the largest procession in the country. It takes place on January the 9th and on Good Friday through the streets of Quiapo, a small part of metro Manila.
The procession dates from the 17th century. Thousands of men parade through the streets with the life-sized, black wooden statue of Jesus (of Nazarene).

A miracle after touching the statue?
During the feast of the Black Nazarene thousands of barefoot men join the annual procession. Walking barefoot during the procession is seen as a sign of humility.
During this procession the men yell "Viva Señor".
Everybody who is in the neighbourhood of the cross tries to touch the statue. People believe that a miracle can happen after touching it. The statue was bought by a priest in Mexico and brought to Manila in 1606. A black Christ ?
The Black Nazarene is a more than 200-year-old statue. Black? One tale is telling that during the Spanish colonial period missionaries brought an icon to Manila. During the trip however, there was a fire on board and the icon, the Nazarene, caught fire. Despite its charred condition, the Nazarene was kept save and honored from then on.
The statue is to be seen in the Saint John the Baptist Church in Quiapo in Manila, where it has been housed since 1787. Feast of the Black Nazarene
Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over the country come to Manila to be part of the procession of the Black Nazarene. All participants in the procession hope that they will have the opportunity to touch the wooden statue. They hope that this will protect them from harm and ensure health in the future. Indeed, it is said that sometimes persons were healed of diseases after touching the statue! (A Filipino: "My daughter was very sick, so I joined this procession last year. Now she is cured...."). Some of them follow the statue during the procession because they believe it is an atonement of their sins or hope for some miracle.

Procession of the Black Nazarene http://www.philippines.hvu.nl/culture4.htm Faith In Black Nazarene: Devotion Or Fanaticism?

MANILA, Philippines --- Today, millions of devotees will once again endure and overcome long hours of risks and discomfort just to be able to take part in, perhaps, the longest religious procession in Philippine culture.
Putting at stake even their most precious lives, these flocks of faithful do not mind the ordeal in exchange for their commitment to take the centuries-old wooden image of the Black Nazarene from an overnight vigil at the Quirino Grandstand back to its humble abode at the Minor Basilica in Quiapo, Manila.
Lilibeth Bautista, 48, is among these devotees.
For her, people should never worry because God will make a way for them not to miss the feast day activities.
“The Black Nazarene has given us so many things,” shared Bautista, citing that she will remain a devotee until her death.
Bautista attributed all her blessings in life, including the guidance that she and her son Michael Kenneth Arreza are getting, to her devotion to the Black Nazarene.
In 2003, then 13-year-old Michael was diagnosed with a benign tumor in his face.
“Since he was just a teenager then, his first question was ‘why him’,” said Bautista.
The tumor lasted until the following year, which made Bautista almost lose her hope. Little did she know that while she was praying, her feet brought her to the Quiapo Church. The next thing she knew, she became a Quiapo devotee.
“I didn’t know how I got to the Minor Basilica but I just wished for a good doctor and that the Black Nazarene would guide us,” said Bautista.
By 2011, Michael’s tumor began to spread that he began to lose his sense of sight, hearing and even taste. He was almost lifeless for two minutes after a seizure, but his mother just prayed to the Black Nazarene to give his son more years to live.
In what Bautista believed to be a miracle, Michael survived the seizure and underwent successful operation on November 27 last year.
Bautista expresses her devotion to the Black Nazarene by cooking food for some devotees who attend the overnight vigil. She also serves as Minister of Ushers at the Quiapo Church.
She doesn’t mind going to the church even if she and her son come all the way from Cavite. Every year, she is also present in the procession. If possible, she would try to hold the rope attached to the image of the Black Nazarene for good luck.
This act of devotion is just normal, according to Bulacan priest Rev. Fr. Cirilo Palaca, DCD.
“They experience God’s love and their prayers were answered through that show of devotion,” said the priest, who serves at the popular Lourdes Shrine and Grotto in San Jose del Monte, in a phone interview.
Palaca also noted that some people might not really understand, but those devotees who come to the Quirino Grandstand and join the procession have “genuine” faith because the Lord answers their prayers.
“There are many people (in the vigil and in the procession) because many receive blessings from the Lord. They just manifest their devotion by joining the procession,” he explained.
For a plain spectator who might brand steadfast devotees’ tear-jerking and breakdown behaviors as mere “fanaticism” and outright ridiculous, University of Santo Tomas Sociology professor Josephine Aguilar Placido said that it is all about expression of one’s faith.
“You can never question how people express their emotions. Some people cry, some would kneel from the entrance (of the church) to the altar and for them, this is one way of expressing their faith and love to their Creator,” she told the Manila Bulletin. “Now, we call this folk religiosity.”
Both devotion and fanaticism, according to Placido, have their own purposes, though devotion is more inclined toward religion.
“Devotion is religion-oriented, but the term ‘fanaticism’ is sometimes used because you will see how people move… This is collective behavior,” she said.
In the case of the Black Nazarene, people from all walks of life are affected, so they move with the same objective. They even come in groups or in clusters a purpose to achieve.
“Surprisingly, it is amazing to see young people doing that now,” Placido observed. “Their belief in the Black Nazareno is based on the depth of their faith and on the custom passed onto them by their parents.”
As for the devotees’ strong belief that their devotion to the Black Nazarene would bring them good luck or good graces in their lives, Placido saw it as “one simple sociological imagination.”
“This is one concept from a devotee and we have to respect that. Whatever purposes they have in mind and if that is their interpretation of what they are doing, then so be it,” she said. (With an interview and report from Frederick Louis R. Castro II, MB Research intern, University of Santo Tomas)
Faith In Black Nazarene: Devotion Or Fanaticism?
By LEO O. LAPARAN II and BRYAN G. VILLASANA
January 8, 2013 http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/388861/faith-in-black-nazarene-devotion-or-fanaticism#.UQiCjL95KSA
Making sense of the Nazarene devotion

MANILA, Philippines – It was a religious procession in 2012 that triggered a minor stampede and left not only over 500 injured, but also piles of garbage in its trail.
Quiapo’s The Black Nazarene procession held every January 9, attracts devotees from all walks of life because the image of the suffering Christ is supposedly miraculous. Up to eight million Catholics are drawn to the procession each year, few of them discouraged by reported mishaps, injuries and even deaths.
"The devotion to the Nazarene should be seen in the context of utang na loob (debt of gratitude): 'God gave me some tremendous gift – napagaling ang miyembro ng pamilya ko (a family member was healed) – so what will I offer in return?' Something difficult like, sasali ako sa prusisyon taun-taon (I will join the procession every year), risking my life," anthropologist Dr Fernando Nakpil Zialcita said, explaining the phenomenon.
He described the Nazareno devotion as an "awesome" display of gratitude to God for graces bestowed upon devotees and their families. This devotion, consistent with Filipino loyalty, according to Zialcita, is often limited only to the family and to the “angkan” or clan. As such it fails to take into account “social responsibility to a group larger than their family.”
For instance, some who join the annual Nazarene procession, continue to break traffic regulations, throw their garbage in front of other people’s houses, and engage in corrupt practices, Zialcita pointed out.
“A Christian doesn't just show utang na loob to God and forgets about one's neighbor,” he added.
Zialcita, who has written extensively about Filipino identity, emphasizes in an essay “the importance of the broader community, a community that transcends ties of kinship and locality” in both nationalism and modern democracy.
Entitled “Toward a Community Broader than the Kin,” Zialcita’s essay says that “both assume the importance of the Anonymous, Faceless Stranger: the person or persons whom one will never know face-to-face but whose welfare must be considered because they are fellow citizens.” (Read more: Nazareno: Does it make the Pinoy a better neighbor?)

Challenge for priests
Broadening Filipinos’ faith in the Black Nazarene is a “problem facing the priests,” Zialcita said.
A number of prelates recognize this need to teach their flock better morals.
During his Mass on the feast of the Black Nazarene at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle delivered a homily about Christian living – such as rejecting adultery, greed, and narcissism.
“Mga kapatid,” Tagle said, “sa piyesta pong ito ng Poong Nazareno, may pakiusap at hamon po ako. Sana po ang Luneta Grandstand at lahat ng daraanan ng prusisyon, walang makita ni isang basura. Patunayan natin na hindi na natin hihilahin si Poong Nazareno at ang kalikasan pababa dahil sa ating kawalang-malasakit.”
(Brothers and sisters, on this feast of the Black Nazarene, I have this request and challenge. I hope that not a single piece of garbage will be left in the Luneta Grandstand area and along the entire procession route. Let this be proof that we intend to stop dragging down the Black Nazarene and the environment due to our lack of concern for others.)
Devotees ignored Tagle’s call, however. This year’s Nazareno procession – the longest ever at 22 hours – produced more garbage than in previous years, said Manila City Hall foreman Socorro Meneses in an interview with GMA News.
Meanwhile, retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani called attention to the hundreds of injuries recorded during this year’s Black Nazarene feast. The Philippine National Red Cross pegged the number at 569.
Bacani said “it is already awful when devotees are already hurting each other just to touch Christ’s revered statue,” according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ news service.
“The Church should focus on catechizing the devotees because it’s no longer good when people get hurt,” he said.

Catholic, upper-class ‘biases’
Zialcita, however, said priests should “understand where the Filipino is coming from” before they can purify the Nazarene devotion. “We have to be careful about our theological, our Catholic, our upper-class biases.”
He pointed out, for example, that the position of some clergymen is simply to ban the procession. “Sabi ng isang pari (One priest said), ‘Why do they have to express their faith by competing with each other?’ That means he hasn’t understood what the ceremony is all about.”
He explained that Filipinos, especially males, consider “macho” rituals like helping pull the Nazarene’s carriage precisely as their display of faith.
“On the one hand, they affirm their sense of themselves as men; on the other hand, they affirm their loyalty to Christ,” Zialcita said, adding that the same dynamic exists in Holy Week crucifixion rituals that are prohibited by the Catholic Church.
“It’s that one moment in the year to show, ‘Ah, Katoliko ako; ako’y naniniwala sa Diyos.’ ‘Paano?’ ‘Kasi hinatak ko ang karosa ng Senor,’” he added. (Ah, I’m Catholic; I believe in God. How? Because I pulled the Lord’s carriage.)
The need to touch the Black Nazarene, he added, stems from the Filipino characteristic as “a very concrete people.” “It’s got to be Christ in the image and the robes and the cross. ’Yun ang naiintindihan nila (That is what they understand),” Zialcita said.

Understand the devotees
Quiapo Church parish priest Msgr Clemente Ignacio has, himself, some concerns about rituals surrounding the Black Nazarene.
These include cutting up the statue’s vestments and the rope used during the procession, and then venerating these as relics. Still others include selling Black Nazarene crucifixes and handkerchiefs, and bringing the image’s hands to the sick.
The Catholic Church teaches that holy images or statues should not be worshiped, and instead be accorded “respectful veneration,” according to its catechism.
It also frowns upon superstition. “To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions they demand, is to fall into superstition,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
In a talk about Nazarene rituals at the Loyola School of Theology last year, Ignacio asked: “Are these practices good or bad? Should they be allowed to continue? Some say: this is already bordering on fanaticism and the people should simply stick to the approved liturgies. These are remnants of the animistic faith of the past which the Church has not yet totally ‘Christianized.’”
The priests of Quiapo Church, however, feel humbled seeing the “intensity and sincerity” of devotees towards the Black Nazarene, according to him.
“One of the priests said, ‘Maybe the theological community has not yet fully understood the soul and spirituality of Filipinos. Maybe our theological paradigms are too Western, we easily misjudge the piety of our devotees,’” Ignacio said.
Nevertheless, Ignacio admitted abuses, superstition, and occultism in some forms of the Black Nazarene devotion. He said the task of the Church is “not to destroy popular practices but to understand them and re-focus them so that a more sound faith may develop.”

Right or wrong?
Ignacio said the Church tries to do this by improving its formation programs and catechizing people during overnight vigils, for example, on the eve of the annual Black Nazarene feast.
In an attempt to inculcate social concern among devotees, the Quiapo Church has also raised funds to help house the victims of tropical storm Sendong in the southern Philippines. Devotees have donated P5.6 million for the victims’ housing, said Ignacio.
The priest said a devotion, in the end, is judged best not through external practices. “It is the heart, the interior of the person that will often decide if an expression is right or wrong.” - Rappler.com

Making sense of the Nazarene devotion
BY PATERNO ESMAQUEL II
January 13, 2012 http://www.rappler.com/nation/841-making-sense-of-the-nazarene-devotion Mystery of the Black Nazarene

LOOKING deeply at that statue with eyes as if still alive made my body shiver. All the people around started to cry as they glanced at that life-sized, dark wooden sculptured statue of Jesus Christ carrying the cross.
Having the chance, I went nearer the statue and found myself touching and wiping my handkerchief on it. I was curious, why am I doing this? Why are these people so engrossed with this statue?
I was then in high school studying in a catholic school when luckily I had the chance to see the real Black Nazarene at St. Vincent Parish church. To some believers, it is said that it symbolizes the passion and sufferings of Christ and touching it will perform miracles. The revealing images of the Black Nazarene strengthened the belief of many people both the young and old.
The Black Nazarene for these believers represents the solutions to their hopes, their problems, answers to their prayers and a blessing for a better life.
According to Wikipedia, the Black Nazarene was “originally with fair complexion, it is believed to have turned dark after the statue survived a burning galleon ship on its arrival from Mexico. The statue is currently enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo district, Manila, Philippines, where it is venerated every Friday with Novena and Holy Masses. The Black Nazarene is publicly processed on three annual occasions: New Years' Day, Good Friday, and on 9 January, when its first novena feast. Official transfer and enshrinement in the present Basilica is commemorated. The event is attended by several million devotees that crowd the streets of processional route in Metro Manila.”
Some of the usual traditional celebrations of the feast usually observed in January according to Jane Nepomuceno were: 1. Pahalik (Kissing of the Image) - people line up to kiss the foot of the Black Nazarene; 2. Pabihis (Dressing of the Image) - done five times a year before major events; 3. Pasindi (Lighting of the Candles) - accompanied with prayer intentions; 4. Bendisyon (Blessing of the Faithful) - people catch the droplets of holy water during the blessings after the masses
What makes this statue so unusual? Why are these people so fanatically and emotionally gripped by the Black Nazarene? Where did this statue come from?
Wikipedia stated that “The Black Nazarene derives its main title from the citizenship of Jesus of Nazareth, and its external local title regarding the present skin dark complexion of the statue. Atop the statue's head are the three traditional "Tres Potencias" symbolizing the three powers of the Holy Trinity, which also symbolize the "Rayos" or rays protruding from the head of the statue as a form of a Christological halo used to identify Christ in mainline traditional Hispanic iconography. The statue's original body has lost several fingers over the years, and the original head has since been transferred several times onto a full-scale replica body by renowned Filipino sculptor Gener Manlaqui as commissioned by the Archdiocese of Manila. The statue also bears a large wooden cross with brass gold-plated ornamentation on its tip while the image's head wears a braided wig made of dyed abaca, along with its golden crown of thorns.”
In addition, the image wears an embroidered maroon tunic with gold thread floral patterns embroidered into the fabric, along with lace trimmings on the collar and cuffs. A gold-plated metal belt embossed with the image's name encircles its waist, with a golden chain-ball representing the Flagellation. The barefooted statue is in a genuflecting posture, symbolizing the agony and heavy weight of the cross. The image's wooden base is referred to as the peana, while its carriage or carroza used in processions is referred to as the Ándas (from the Spanish andar, "to move forward") and is pulled by devotees using a pair of 50-meter long ropes. The statue was made by an anonymous Mexican sculptor, and the image arrived in Manila via galleon from Acapulco, Mexico. Folk tradition attributes the dark color of the statue to a fire on the ship that charred the originally white skin. Church records in Intramuros note that there were originally two, identical images of the Black Nazarene brought to Manila. The first was kept in the San Nicolas de Tolentino church in Bagumbayan and was later transferred to Intramuros when the former was demolished. On January 9, 1787, the Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho de Santas Justa y Rufina, ordered the transfer of the Black Nazarene to its present location within the Quiapo church. This Black Nazarene was destroyed in the bombardment during the Battle of Manila in 1945. The surviving image was given by the Recollect Order to the Parish of Saint John the Baptist, presently designated as a minor Basilica, and it has often been thought to be the one lost in the war. (Reference: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Nazarene)
The mystery of the Black Nazarene still continues today. To all our brethren in the Christian faith we greet you for this very important occasion a blissful and faithful Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Mystery of the Black Nazarene
By Marissa Mabalot-Bomogao
January 13, 2013 http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/feature/2013/01/13/mystery-black-nazarene-262685 Black Nazarene

The Black Nazarene, known to devotees in Spanish as Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (Tagalog: Poong Itim na Nazareno) is a life-sized, dark wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying the cross, while representing his passion and suffering and is believed to be miraculous by many Filipino Catholics.
Originally with fair complexion, it is believed to have turned dark after the statue survived a burning galleon ship on its arrival from Mexico. The statue is currently enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo district, Manila, Philippines, where it is venerated every Friday with Novena and Holy Masses.
The Black Nazarene is publicly processed on three annual occasions: New Years' Day, Good Friday, and on 9 January, when its first novena feast, official translation (Spanish: traslación) and enshrinement in the present Basilica is commemorated. The event is attended by several million devotees that crowd the streets of processional route in Metro Manila.

Description
The Black Nazarene derives its main title from the citizenship of Jesus of Nazareth, and its external local title regarding the present skin dark complexion of the statue. Atop the statue's head are the three traditional "Tres Potencias" symbolizing the three powers of the Holy Trinity, which also symbolize the "Rayos" or rays protruding from the head of the statue as a form of a Christological halo used to identify Christ in mainline traditional Hispanic iconography.
The statue's original body has lost several fingers over the years, and the original head has since been transferred several times onto a full-scale replica body by renowned Filipino sculptor Gener Manlaqui as commissioned by the Archdiocese of Manila. The statue also bears a large wooden cross with brass gold-plated ornamentation on its tip while the image's head wears a braided wig made of dyed abaca, along with its golden crown of thorns.
In addition, the image wears an embroidered maroon tunic with gold thread floral patterns embroidered into the fabric, along with lace trimmings on the collar and cuffs. A gold-plated metal belt embossed with the image's name encircles its waist, with a golden chain-ball representing the Flagellation. The barefooted statue is in a genuflecting posture, symbolizing the agony and heavy weight of the cross.
The image's wooden base is referred to as the peana, while its carriage or carroza used in processions is referred to as the Ándas (from the Spanish andar, "to move forward") and is pulled by devotees using a pair of 50-meter long ropes.

History
The image enshrined in the high altar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Manila.
The statue was made by an anonymous Mexican sculptor, and the image arrived in Manila via galleon from Acapulco, Mexico. Folk tradition attributes the dark colour of the statue to a fire on the ship that charred the originally white skin.
Church records in Intramuros note that there were originally two, identical images of the Black Nazarene brought to Manila. The first was kept in the San Nicolas de Tolentino church in Bagumbayan and was later transferred to Intramuros when the former was demolished. On January 9, 1787, the Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho de Santas Justa y Rufina, ordered the transfer of the Black Nazarene to its present location within the Quiapo church. This Black Nazarene was destroyed in the bombardment during the Battle of Manila in 1945.
The surviving image was given by the Recollect Order to the Parish of Saint John the Baptist, presently designated as a minor Basilica, and it has often been thought to be the one lost in the war.

Papal Approval
Pope Innocent X approved the statue for veneration in 1650 as a Sacramental and authorized the Confraternity of the Most Holy Jesus Nazarene (Spanish: Cofradia de Nuestro Santo Jesus Nazareno). During the Spanish era, Filipinos were barred from joining the Holy Orders, in which confraternity were a group of religious laymen. Pope Pius VII gave the statue his Apostolic Blessing in 1880, which granted plenary indulgence to those who piously pray before the statue.

Devotion
Procession of the Black Nazarene at Plaza Miranda during the Traslacíon, 2010.
Religious veneration of the Black Nazarene is rooted among Filipinos who identify themselves with the Passion of Jesus Christ. Many devotees of the Black Nazarene relate their poverty and daily struggles to the Passion of Christ as represented by the image. The actual patron saint of the minor Basilica is Saint John the Baptist, but the Black Nazarene is more popular. Devotees pay homage to it at the end of each mass offered in the shrine by clapping their hands.
Every Friday of the year is colloquially known as "Quiapo Day" since the novena in the image's honour is held on this day nationwide. Similar to "Baclaran Day" (which is ascribed to Wednesdays), commuters associate this term with heavy traffic in the city due to visiting devotees.

Processions
There are three annual processions when the statue is brought out for public veneration, January 9, Good Friday, and New Years Day. The procession during the January 9 feast commemorates the Traslación. (English: "passage"), referring to the transfer of the image to the Minor Basilica.
The Black Nazarene is borne in procession on its Ándas, accompanied by devotees clad in maroon who walk barefoot as both penance and in imitation of Jesus on his way to Mount Calvary. Traditionally, only men were permitted to become namámasán (the devotees pulling the Ándas by its two ropes), but in recent years female devotees have also been allowed to do so. It is believed that the Kanang Balikat, or right shoulder side of the rope, is the most sacred side since this is the part where Jesus carried the cross. Towels or handkerchiefs are hurled to the yellow-clad marshals escorting the Black Nazarene, with requests to wipe these on the statue in hopes that the miraculous powers attributed to it would "rub off" on the cloth articles.
The Traslación every 9 January is notorious for the casualties that result from the jostling and congestion of the crowds engaged in pulling the carriage. The injuries and even deaths of devotees are brought upon by one or a combination of heat, fatigue, or being trampled upon by other devotees. The image is also brought out on two other occasions, namely New Year's Day and Good Friday, the latter being markedly solemn and silent in contrast to the celebration found during the January 9 procession. The 2012 Traslación is the longest in the image's recorded history as it ended after 22 hours later, arriving at Plaza Miranda at around 05:15 GMT+8 on 10 January. The procession was protracted since the wheels of the Ándas broke early on when it passed by Manila Hotel, and the rope broke near the Liwasang Bonifacio. There were also reports of devotees diverting the image from its intended path to supposedly bring good luck to establishments off the traditional route.[1]

Feast
Each year, the procession of the Black Nazarene makes its way along the streets of the Quiapo district, with attendees reaching up to 6 to 8 million. In recent years, the processional route was altered due to a rise in vehicular and stampede accidents, and to afford other neighborhoods a chance to participate in the festivities. Classes are also suspended in all levels. Since 2007 and 2009, the procession now commences at morning after Holy Mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, where the image was first enshrined, and ends in Quiapo in the late evening.
As is custom, the statue of the Nazarene leaves the Quiapo church (publicly or secretly the night before) and returns to the church on the same day. Many participants either follow the route, or simply wait inside the church to greet the statue. All devotees present wear the image's color of maroon. Most, if not all, of the devotees walk and even travel barefoot throughout the whole procession. Authorities estimate that over 500,000 devotees strode barefoot in the 2013 procession, which was attended by 9 million people.[2]

Transportation
If one is in Manila and decides to travel during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, heavy traffic is expected. Most jeepneys reroute from their usual route and can create additional travel time. However, some public transportation systems like the MRT or LRT provide free train tickets to devotees during the feast day. Traffic rerouting is done on January 9 and enforced by the local police force.

Abroad
Filipinos overseas have adopted a similar procession and Mass in honour of the Black Nazarene statue in countries such as Australia and the United States. A copy of the image is paraded through the streets or within the parish vicinity, with devotees following and reciting prayers as in the Philippines.
In September 2012, a replica of the Black Nazarene was canonically enshrined at Saint Catherine of Siena's Roman Catholic parish in Reseda, California, USA.[3]
Hymn
Below are the lyrics of the National Hymn composed by Lucio San Pedro, which is used by the Quiapo church as the main hymn to the Black Nazarene.
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, (Our Father Jesus Nazarene,)
Sinasamba Ka namin (We worship Thee)
Pinipintuho Ka namin (We admire Thee)
Aral Mo ang aming buhay (For Thy teachings are our life) at Kaligtasan. (and Salvation.)
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Our Father Jesus Nazarene,)
Iligtas Mo kami sa Kasalanan (Deliver us from Sin)
Ang Krus Mong Kinamatayan ay (For the Cross Thou died on is)
Sagisag ng aming Kaligtasan. (The Emblem of our Salvation)
Chorus:
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, (Our Father Jesus Nazarene,)
Dinarangal Ka namin! (We honour Thee!)
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, (Our Father Jesus Nazarene,)
Nilul'walhati Ka namin! (We glorify Thee!)
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, (Our Father Jesus Nazarene,)
Dinarangal Ka namin! (We honour Thee!)
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, (Our Father Jesus Nazarene,)
Nilul'walhati Ka namin! (We glorify Thee!)

Black Nazarene
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Nazarene

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Articles Of Confederation Dbq

...governed by the Articles of Confederation. This form of government was chosen because the people were scared they would experience tyranny like they did with Great Britain if their federal government wasn’t weak. 2. What were the weaknesses of the Article of Confederation? What event exemplified these weaknesses? The weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation were Congress’s inability to collect taxes and police trade, establish a national currency, and raise a proper army. Other weaknesses would be the existence of a unicameral Congress which required 9/13 votes to pass a law and 13/13...

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