Hours before tens of thousands of barefoot Filipinos joined Monday’s annual procession of the Black Nazarene, the Archbishop of Manila celebrated a midnight Mass calling his countrymen to unselfish love. Reflecting on the Baptism of Jesus, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, in his homily at the capital’s Quirino Grandstand stressed that in order to love as Jesus did, one must turn away from selfishness and focus on serving others. “That is the love that will promote unity in our families, the parish, in our barangay, in our country, and in the whole world,” he said. According to him, these are the keys to love that the country needs for the sake of unity. He also said division among people is often the effect of prejudice.
According to Tagle, these are the keys to love that the country needs for the sake of unity. He e According to him, these are the keys to love that the country needs for the sake of unity. He warned that prejudice and judging other bring about division among people.
About a million and a half barefoot Philippine devotees praying for miracles joined the procession of the black statue of Christ being paraded through the old commercial centre of Manila. The devotees crowded around the carriage-pulled by ropes and pushed from behind – bearing the statue, known as the Black Nazarene, which is believed to have healing powers, as it crawled through the narrow streets. About 80 percent of the more than 100 million people of the Philippines are Roman Catholic. Authorities expect some 15 to 18 million devotees to touch the Black Nazarene during the procession that is expected to last more than 20 hours.