New York (Agenzia Fides) - The devotion to the Black Nazarene in Manila does not have borders, and so while all roads in Manila lead to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, many devotees in New York who can not fly home to join celebrations in Manila have the opportunity to commemorate the 410 years of popular devotion of Filipinos to the religious icon of Jesus on his way to Calvary in Manhattan.
Archbishop Bernard Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, will preside the Mass today in New York, to be held at the Church of the Holy Cross near Times Square. Mgr. Auza, who comes from Talibon, was the Apostolic Nuncio in Haiti, when a devastating earthquake hit the capital Port au Prince in 2010.
A meeting of celebration after Mass has been programmed. In previous days, the Filipino communities based in several parishes in New York commemorated the feast of the Black Nazarene with novena and processions. The Filipinos who migrated to the United States and other Countries have always brought the devotion with them.
The statue of the Black Nazarene represents Jesus bent under the weight of the cross. It was brought to Manila by a Spanish Augustinian priest in 1607 aboard a ship from Mexico. According to tradition, the boat caught fire during the trip, but the image of Christ miraculously survived the fire, but was blackened by the fire. Despite the damage, the population of Manila decided to preserve and honor the effigy. Since then, the statue is called the Black Nazarene and many people have received healing from diseases by touching the surface of the statue. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 09/01/2016)