As the Province of Ilocos Norte prepares for the Lenten season, thousands of Ilocano devotees are expected to join the procession of the revered Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno of Quiapo or Black Nazarene at 3 p.m. on March 27, Friday around the city of Laoag.
“Considered by many Filipinos as miraculous, with the ability to heal diseases and bring success, the procession of a life-sized image of Jesus Christ carrying the cross is in line with the different activities scheduled as the image of the Nazarene visits Ilocos Norte from March 25 to 29,” the Diocese of Laoag revealed.
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.”
On March 25, lay ministers of the Catholic Church and devotees warmly welcomed the Nazarene upon its arrival at Badoc, Ilocos Norte. From there, the Nazarene was brought to the Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit and St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Bacarra. Locals then had a chance to hold or wipe a cloth during the traditional ‘Pahalik sa Poon Nazareno’ in these churches.
“Nagsimba lang ako para manalangin tapos hindi ko inaasahan na makikita ko yung Black Nazarene. Ang swerte ko lang, hindi ko na kailangang gumastos ng pamasahe papuntang Manila para makita siya,” said Lorna Narciso, a vendor at Laoag City Market.
Meanwhile, organizers from the provincial government are expecting an influx of devotees and tourists who are in the province for the Lenten season to pay homage to the Black Nazarene during Friday’s procession. “The procession will start with a mass at the Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit. From there, the carriage bearing the statue of the Black Nazarene will make its way to J.P. Rizal St. Passing Bacarra road, it will cross at P. Gomez St. to Ablan Avenue and go straight at Tupaz St. as it heads back to Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit.”
“The Ilocanos can validate their thoughts and belief system that truly they can see, feel, touch and hear God…[as] the miraculous image of Black Nazarene visits the province of Ilocos Norte,” noted by the Cathedral Church of St. William the Hermit of the Diocese of Laoag.
The visit of the Nazarene in the province will be capped off on Palm Sunday, which marks the start of the Holy Week observed by Catholics, through a Sunday Liturgy at 5:30 a.m. at the Provincial Capitol. It will be followed by a Holy Mass at the Cathedral Church wherein devotees and Sunday churchgoers will experience the ‘Pahalik sa Poon Nazareno.’
“[Dahil] sa mataimtim nating paniniwala sa Panginoon dito [sa Ilocos Norte], makakaraos tayo sa anumang hamon sa ating buhay,” remarked by Governor Imee R. Marcos.–J Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO0475 or 09179361675