MANILA - Devotional practices should transform people into better versions of themselves, an official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said ahead of the huge procession of the Black Nazarene in the country's capital.
The annual "Traslacion," which usually lasts the whole day, draws millions of barefooted devotees who want to touch the image of the Black Nazarene on top of a carriage being pulled by several men through the narrow streets of Manila.
Speaking to ANC, Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive director of the CBCP, explained more than kneeling, joining processions, or touching the images of saints, it is how a person lives his faith that matters in the end.
"It's not all about kneeling. It's not all about joining processions. It's actually living the faith that matters. Kahit magsimba ka diyan araw-araw, at ang ugali mo ay di nagbabago, it defeats the purpose," he said.
Secillano said the devotion to the Black Nazarene, which is a kind of "popular piety," is allowed by the church because this is something that motivates the faith of person. He said even Pope Francis had made a clarification allowing this devotional practice.
"That only shows people have a need for God, and have really a need for something divine, have a need for something supernatural. We've been dealing with so many practical needs but then there's something about the supernatural, the divine," he said.