Thousands of devotees pay homage to Black Nazarene

LAOAG CITY – As expected, thousands of Ilocano devotees paid homage to the revered Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno of Quiapo or Black Nazarene during its visit to this province from March 25-29.

The Diocese of Laoag has lined up several activities for the Black Nazarene’s stay in the province that included a procession around this city on March 27 and a mass at the Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit on Palm Sunday.

The Diocese of Laoag said that with the visit of the Black Nazarene in Ilocos Norte, “the Ilocanos validated their thoughts and belief that truly they can see, feel, touch and hear God…”

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos earlier remarked that “despite the difficulties that surround us, we still find time to be resilient…to remain Christian and prayerful.”

The Black Nazarene was warmly welcomed by lay ministers of the Catholic Church and devotees upon its arrival at Badoc, Ilocos Norte on March 25. From there, the Nazarene was brought to the Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit and St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Bacarra where local devotees were given the traditional ‘Pahalik sa Poon Nazareno’.

As expected, an influx of devotees and tourists who were in the province for the Lenten season paid homage to the Black Nazarene during Friday’s procession.

The procession started with a mass at the Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit. From there, the carriage bearing the statue of the Black Nazarene made its way to J.P. Rizal St. Passing Bacarra road, crossed P. Gomez St. to Ablan Avenue, went straight to Tupaz St. and headed back to Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit.

The visit of the Nazarene in the province capped off on Palm Sunday, which marked the start of the Holy Week, through a Sunday Liturgy at 5:30 a.m. at the provincial capitol. It was followed by a Holy Mass at the Cathedral Church wherein devotees and Sunday churchgoers were again given the chance to hold or wipe their handkerchief or cloth on any part of the revered image, considered by many Ilocano devotees as miraculous.

“(Dahil) sa mataimtim nating paniniwala sa Panginoon dito (sa Ilocos Norte), makakaraos tayo sa anumang hamon sa ating buhay,” Governor Imee R. Marcos said. (From a report by J Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO)