APPROXIMATELY 1.2 million devotees have participated in the religious activities organized by the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Quiapo Church Operation Center said Tuesday.
According to the latest crowd bulletin from the QCOC, a total of 1,268,435 Black Nazarene faithful have attended the religious activities for the feast day.
On January 6, authorities said some 94,660 devotees attended the masses in Quiapo Church while 500 faithful had already lined up for the Pagpupugay prior to the commencement of the three-day celebration of the feast. During the start of Pagpupugay at the Quirino Grandstand on January 7, over 20,000 faithful had queued to touch and wipe the image of the Black Nazarene.
QCOC also said on the day before the feast day, about 587,235 participated in the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord in Quiapo. At the same time, 110,548 joined the masses and pagpupugay in the Quirino Grandstand.
At the same time, around 88,000 faithful joined the “Walk of Faith” procession from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church which replaced the traditional “Traslacion.”
The Walk of Faith procession lasted for approximately three hours.
On the feast day, some 587,235 individuals went to Quiapo to participate in the hourly mass, while 122,710 were in Quiapo for the Pagpupugay, the report said.
A total of 24 masses were offered to cater to all the devotees going to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.
There were also LED televisions, communion, and prayer stations with a replica of the Black Nazarene around the Quiapo Church to control the volume of the devotees.
Rosita Carmen, 62, who traveled from Bicol to witness the annual Nazareno tradition, said she sacrificed the long hours of travel just to fulfill her yearly “panata” (religious vow) to the Nazarene who answered her prayers.
“Even though I live in the province, I endure the long travel just to visit Him (Black Nazarene) here because this celebration only happens once a year,” Carmen said in Filipino.
“He fulfilled many of my prayers; that’s why I made a vow to visit Him until I can.”
Quiapo Church had announced the early closure of Pagpupugay at the Quirino Grandstand since no more devotees are queuing at the Pagpupugay station.
Attached Priest Fr. Earl Valdez said in a Viber message that “it’s safe to wrap up our operations” and thanked everyone for participating and cooperating with the authorities during the celebration.