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Feast of the Black Nazarene (Translación)

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is a major Filipino religious celebration.

Image from Used as being in the public domain.

It occurs every year on January 9 in Manilla, the Philippines. It involves carrying a life-sized wooden statue of Jesus carrying a cross through the streets of Manila. People will touch cloths to the statute and make what they call "healing relics" from them. After several hundred years of doing this, the Black Nazarene statue is in such bad shape that they now use a replica and the original is maintained in the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines. The replica is called the Vicário.

The stat=ue was carved from wood by a Mexican artisan in the sixteenth century. It was brought to the Philippines in 1606. The boat that was carrying the statue burned in the harbor, and the statue suffered damage as a result.

Why January 9? Simple, really. As the name Translaciôn implies, it was the day that it was translated, or moved, from one location to another, In this case, it was moved from its original location in Luneta Park to Quiapo.

The statue was originally brought to the Church of San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) in Bugambayan (now Luneta) by Augustinian Recollect priests in 1606. In 1608, the statue was moved to the Recollect church San Nicolás de Tolentino in Intramuros. It was moved to San Juan Bautista Church in Quiapo (often called the Quiapo Church) on January 9, 1787. In time, this date became known as the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

The statute is called the Nazarene because Jesy=us was from Nazareth. It is referred to as being black because of the darkness of the statute due to having been burned on the boat in 1606. Additionally, two churches burned down around it in 1621 and 1929.

The statute is paraded through Manila on January 9; Good Friday; and on New Year's Eve. December 31 is the start of the Novena to the Black Nazarene. January 9 is the end of the Novena of the Black Nazarene. Good Friday is the culmination of the Passion of Christ.

For future years, the Novena t the Black Nazarene may be found at


Join me at 3:30 p.m. Eastern for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to learn about the Black Nazarene, and for the daily update at:

Award-winning Catholic recording artist and songwriter Lisa Marie Nicoile's show is on Saturday, January 20. Her guest will be Mike Aquilino. She will be doing the live show on YouTube. Here is the link:

If you want to listen to some great interviews, John Benko and I interviewed the original modern-day Catholic Defender, Steve Ray at, and we interviewed acclaimed Catholic musical artist Donna Cori Gibson at

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