Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Thousands of Nazarene pilgrims flock to Manila amid COVID worries

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Health limits attributable to pandemic considerably curtailed attendance to annual Philippine procession, which often attracts greater than 1,000,000 individuals.Thousands of Catholic pilgrims gathered within the Philippine capital on Saturday to pay homage to the Black Nazarene statue of Jesus Christ, as well being restrictions because of the persevering with coronavirus pandemic considerably curtailed the attendance to the occasion.
Known by its Spanish time period, “Translacion”, the annual procession in Manila is taken into account as one of many world’s largest reveals of Catholic devotion, attracting greater than 1,000,000 individuals.
But all that has modified this yr attributable to COVID-19, which has to date contaminated greater than 500,000 Filipinos and claimed the lives of almost 10,000 others.
The devoted, carrying principally pink and maroon shirts, gathered earlier than daybreak on Saturday to catch a glimpse of the statue because it was wheeled on a metallic float round Manila.

[7:30AM] Devotees observe bodily distancing as they hear Mass alongside Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo, Manila on the feast of the Black Nazarene Saturday. | through George Calvelo #Nazareno2021
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) January 8, 2021

This yr, authorities have prohibited the pilgrims from attending the non secular gathering barefoot – a practice in earlier years. Devotees are additionally prohibited from carrying backpacks, and are solely allowed to hold clear water bottles.
Inside the Quiapo church, solely 400 individuals have been allowed at a time to attend the hourly service, and they’re required to put on face masks and face shields.
Social-distancing violations
As of 6am native time (22:00 GMT Friday), studies say at the very least 20,000 individuals have gathered within the metropolis’s Quiapo district.
Police have arrange barricades across the church, the place the non secular icon is saved, to maintain individuals from getting too near the procession.
But ABS-CBN information web site later reported that social distancing protocols weren’t correctly adopted, as the gang started to converge nearer to get the picture of Christ.

Pilgrims consider that touching the picture of the Black Nazarene, or just being in its presence, can heal the sick or ship luck.
The charred statue is believed to have survived a hearth within the 17th century whereas on its strategy to the Philippines, which grew to become Asia’s bastion of Catholicism throughout 400 years as a Spanish colony.
Critics mentioned the procession, which often takes about 20 hours, is a combination of superstition and pointless threat for members.
But Church officers say the observe is a vibrant expression of religion in an overwhelmingly Christian nation of greater than 105 million.

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