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The grand procession of the Black Nazarene or Traslacion will not take place on January 2021 as decided by Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno to avoid the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
The grand procession of the Black Nazarene or Traslacion is a renowned religious tradition for millions of Filipino Roman Catholics with heavy devotion to the Black Nazarene. They gather together every 9th of January every year.
In light of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso cancels the grand procession on Friday, October 23, as agreed upon by city authorities and the officials of the Quiapo Church.
This is the first time that the annual religious tradition of the Traslacion has been canceled.
Domagoso shared in a tweet that parades and processions should be avoided while there is a pandemic, as it may put devotes at risk and endanger their lives.
Millions of barefoot Filipino devotees of the Black Nazarene endure the day-long procession in the heart of Manila to take part in the Traslacion or transfer of the venerated image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand to its home, the Quiapo Church.
It has been a long-standing tradition for several Filipino Catholics, as they believe in the healing and miracles that the image brings, and their faith in the deity. It has withstood fires, earthquakes, and even the fatal bombings back in World War II.
While the grand procession may be canceled, Fr. Douglas Badong, the Parochial Vicar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, said that more mass novenas will take place in light of the religious event.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, he said that the feast will still be celebrated, but it’s no longer similar to how it used to be.
Novenas and masses for the Feast of the Black Nazarene will take place every hour in Quiapo Church, starting dawn until late at night.
Fr. Badong also advised the devotees to not walk barefoot as they enter the church, which is an annual and well-known tradition for devotees of the Black Nazarene, to battle possible infection of COVID-19.
Additionally, he also said that the image of the Black Nazarene will still be brought out for veneration, but devotees will not be allowed to touch it. Replicas of the venerated image will also still be blessed during the feast.