MANILA - While many Filipino Catholics consider Jan. 9 as the "Feast of the Black Nazarene," its liturgical commemoration actually falls on Good Friday.
Fr. Ric Valencia of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene issued the reminder Wednesday in light of this year's Black Nazarene procession or "Traslacion," an event that draws millions of devotees.
“Ang mga taga-Quiapo, they consider today (Jan. 9) as the Feast of the Black Nazarene pero alam naman natin na ang fiesta talaga ng Poong Hesus Nazareno ay Biyernes Santo," he said.
(People in Quiapo consider Jan. 9 as the Feast of the Black Nazarene but we all know that it is actually commemorated every Good Friday.)
The Black Nazarene depicts the suffering Christ whose passion and death is commemorated every Good Friday.
Valencia clarified that what the Jan. 9 Traslacion commemorates is the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from Intramuros to Quiapo in 1787.
Millions of devotees flock to Quiapo every Jan. 9 to join the procession of the Black Nazarene in the belief that the image has miraculous powers.
Barefoot devotees shouting "Viva Nazareno!" scramble over one another to touch the image, which is believed to have survived a 17th-century fire.
Valencia said the annual procession is a call for Filipino Catholics to return to God.
"It’s always a call for conversion, pagbabalik-loob," he said.
"Maging pasensyoso at maging mapagmahal sa kapwa sa ngalan ng kaligtasan ng lahat," he added.
(Be patient and loving to your neighbors so that everyone may be saved.)
-report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News