Sunday, May 1, 2011

59. RETRO-SANTO: Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno of Quiapo

The most revered Jesus icon in the country is the centuries-old image of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno which resides in the minor basilica of Quiapo and whose history is intertwined with that of Manila’s premiere district. Also known as the Black Nazarene, the life-size, cross-bearing wooden Christ reached our Islands on 31 May 1606 by galleon from Acapulco, Mexico. Tradition has it that a fire that occurred on board the ship gave the image its dark, ebony complexion.

The Augustinian Recollects who brought the image here, enshrined the Nazareno in their church in Bagumbayan, until it was transferred to their bigger San Nicolas Tolentino Church in Intramuros two years later. Manila Archbishop Basilio Sancho de Santas Justa y Rufina mandated the transfer of the image to Quiapo Church in the late 1700s where it has rested on its altar ever since.

Veneration of the Nazareno started immediately especially among the poor and the common folk. Today, the devotion has spread across the nation, a unique expression of Filipino faith that has merited approval from two popes—Pope Innocent X who, in 1650, gave his blessing to the establishment of the Cofradia de Santo Cristo Jesus Nazareno, and Pope Pius VII who granted a plenary indulgence to all those who pray before the holy image.

The feast of the Nazareno falls on January 9, and this day is marked with major processions to mark the transfer of the image to the Quiapo shrine. Over the years, the rowdy, full-packed processions have resulted in casualties, injuries and even deaths of devotees. ale devotees, wearing maroon robes or shirts participate in the processions, but only the males are given the task of holding the ropes (namamasan) that pull the image’s carriage. It is believed that the towels or handkerchiefs that are wiped on the image are imbued with Jesus’s miraculous powers.


Hymn to the Black Nazarene of Quiapo
Composed by Lucio San Pedro

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Sinasamba ka namin
Pinipintuho ka namin
Aral mo an gaming buhay at kaligtasan

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Iligtas mo kami sa kasalanan
Ang krus mong kinamatayan ay
Sagisag n gaming kaligtasan

Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Dinarangal ka namin
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Nilul’walhati ka namin
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Dinarangal ka namin
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno
Nilul’walhati ka naming!

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