More than 80,000 Black Nazarene devotees flocked at the Quirino Grandstand on Jan. 8, for the first-ever Walk of Faith as part of the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene according to the Quiapo Church Command Center.
The Walk of Faith started at past 1 in the morning from Quirino Grandstand, Luneta Park to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church. Before the walk, Fr. Rufino Sescon, rector and parish priest of Quiapo Church presided over the celebration of the Holy Mass at midnight.
Quiapo Church earlier said that the Walk of Faith will replace the traditional Traslacion since the country is still under the surge of the coronavirus. It had the same route as the Traslacion but the image or replica of the Black Nazarene was not present during the procession. Instead, devotees were encouraged to bring a small image of Nazareno, rosaries and candles during the procession.
Traslacion commemorates the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta Grandstand to Quiapo Church where the procession passes through the different streets of Quiapo.
The Walk of Faith procession passed through the streets of Katigbak Road, Padre Burgos Street, Jones Bridge, Dasmariñas Street, Sta. Cruz, Palanca Street, Quezon Boulevard, Arlegui Street, P. Casal Street, Concepcion Street, Carcer Street, Hidalgo Street, Bilibid Viejo/ G. Puyat Street, Guzman Street, Hidalgo Street, Quezon Boulevard, Palanca Street, and Villalobos Street to Quiapo Church.
Days before the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Fr. Earl Allyson Valdez, official spokesperson of Quiapo Church pointed out that devotion to the Black Nazarene does not merely focuses on the image itself.
“Nanggagaling lang naman ang kritisismo ng panatiko sa isang pananaw na ang pananampalataya ay parang, unang una ay nakatuon lang doon sa imahen. Idolatriya daw dahil may matinding paggalang tayo doon sa imahen na nagsisilbing tanda at simbolo ng ating Poong Hesus Nazareno,” Fr. Vladez told the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications.
“At ikalawa ung pananaw na parang hindi naisasaayos at hindi naisasaisip, naisasabuhay yung pananampalataya ng mga deboto. Bilang isang hamon sa kritisimong iyon, bukod sa tanong na kung saan ba ito nanggagaling, ito ba ay nagmumula rin o may pag unaawa o pagbubukas sa pag uanawa na ayon sa mismong deboto,” he added. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC| Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)