Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feast of the Black Nazarene

Today is the feast of the Black Nazarene. Two celebrations were simultaneously done in Quiapo, Manila and for the very first time in Cagayan de Oro City in Southern Philippines. The black statue of the Nazarene was paraded in the streets of Manila. This year, the procession has changed its course. It started in Quirino Grandstand till it reached into the Cathedral of the Black Nazarene. It is very astonishing to see millions of people with overflowing faith flocking into the streets just to have a glimpse of the saint. You can see a lot of devotees bring with them hanky for they believe that if they'll touch this into the saint, they will be healed. A lot of stories of miracles, healings and "wishes-granted" echoed the procession.

Behind this overflowing devotion are pictures of people injued, busy ambulances and patrols. Even criminals are all over the place taking its chance to move. That's why a lot of people question this too much devotion. They even call it more of "fanaticism" rather than "true devotion". But we can not judge this people unless we put ourselves into their shoes. Fanaticism or whatever it may be. Respect is what matters.