Sunday, January 2, 2011

Devotees nationwide to flock Quiapo for Nazarene feast

Thousands of devotees all over the country are expected to flock the Quiapo Church on January 9 to mark the feast day of the Black Nazarene.

An overnight vigil will be held at the Luneta evening of January 8. A Holy Mass will be celebrated for the public morning of January 9 followed by the procession of the image back to the basilica.

The procession is a re-enactment of the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta to Quiapo in 1787.

Devotees join the traslacion as a way of strengthening their faith and showing their gratitude for spiritual and material favors received from God.

This year’s celebration is themed “Yapak ng Poong Nazareno, Yakap ng Sambayanan sa Pagbabagong Buhay.”

Zero waste fiesta

Meanwhile, an anti-pollution watchdog called on all devotees of the Black Nazarene to celebrate the feast day garbage free.

Eco Waste Coalition, a zero waste advocacy group urged the public to show their respect and devotion to the icon by caring for public health and the environment.

In a letter sent to Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio, Parish Priest and Rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, the group appealed for a united effort to ensure a garbage-free celebration.

“We appeal to you and all the devotees of the Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno to unite in ensuring that the splendid affirmation of our Christian faith will also mirror our shared mission of caring for the environment,” wrote Roy Alvarez, president of the waste and pollution watchdog.

Alvarez expressed hope the devotees’ fervor in fulfilling their religious devotion will also reflect in their care for the environment.

Every year’s fiesta celebration of Quiapo generates tons of garbage consisting mostly of plastic bags, Styrofoam, soiled paper, product packaging and food leftovers left behind by devotees.

“Please take personal responsibility for your discards,” he told the devotees. “With your help, we can turn the tide of garbage that has been spoiling this great communion of the faithful.”

The group will put up banners together with barangay leaders to remind devotees not to trash the environment.

“The massive littering tarnishes our devoutness to the Black Nazarene that many of us beg for deliverance from life’s problems, including ailments that could have come from a polluted environment,” Alvarez said.

A person’s religious fervor should be matched by his care and respect for God’s creation, he said.


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