The head of the Archdiocese of Manila on Saturday urged devotees Of the Black Nazarene to trust God amid the challenges posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Manila apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo said God is with the faithful in the conditions they are experiencing at the moment.
“There is no picture of Black Nazarene without the cross. He carries the heavy cross and fell while carrying the cross. That is our God, who is one with us especially during this time when life is very difficult due to the pandemic. But we know that God is there and with us. Our theme for this year’s celebration is: Do not be afraid. This is Jesus Christ you don’t need to be afraid,” he said in his Homily during the first Mass for the feast.
Pabillo also likened the Black Nazarene to a magnet as many people are attracted to it.
“He is like a magnet. A powerful magnet that attracts many people to him and that attraction cannot be stopped,” he said.
He was also amazed by the faithful’s deep devotion to the Black Nazarene despite restrictions due to the pandemic.
“More than our physical presence who are here, there are also many people who follow us on our online facilities not only in the Philippines but also from other countries. Indeed, the Black Nazarene is a magnet that attracts many people,” Pabillo added.
He believed that though there were changes in the celebration, people continue to express their love to the Black Nazarene.
“Despite the changes we were not able to celebrate in Luneta, we didn’t have Traslacion, the procession, but still the public continues to approach him. Right now, if even it’s still early and there is a curfew, the church and streets are full of people. This is not only happening in Quiapo. There are also many faithful attending Masses in different churches,” he added.
The Quiapo Church would hold 15 Eucharistic Celebrations to celebrate the Black Nazarene feast on Saturday. Only 400 people are allowed inside the church each Mass.
The church will be closed at midnight on Sunday in compliance with curfew regulations by the city government of Manila. (PNA)