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Devotees gather for Nazarene vigil in Manila today

A DEVOTEE kisses the cross of a replica of the Black Nazarene during yesterday’s procession in Quiapo, Manila. (MB photo | Jansen Romero)

A DEVOTEE kisses the cross of a replica of the Black Nazarene during yesterday’s procession in Quiapo, Manila. (MB photo | Jansen Romero)

Thousands of devotees of the revered Black Nazarene from different parts of the country are expected to gather today at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila to take part in the series of activities that will be held during the overnight vigil, a prelude to the grand “Traslacion” procession tomorrow.

Devotees, who are mostly clad in maroon and yellow shirts, that include the elderly, the sick, and persons with disabilities, traditionally line up for hours for the “Pahalik sa Poong Nazareno.”

Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel will preside over the Liturgy of the Hours and the Holy Mass at midnight. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will serve as the homilist.

Coronel said they are “praying for a more peaceful and safer procession this year” as he asked the faithful for prayers for a successful celebration.

He has repeatedly appealed to the elderly, the sick, pregnant women, parents with small children, and the intoxicated not to attend the procession for safety reasons. “The Church,” he said, “will instead be praying for their personal intentions.”

Yesterday afternoon, thousands of devotees of the revered Poong Hesus Nazareno, carrying replica images in different sizes, including heirlooms and centuries-old icons, joined the procession of replicas of the Black Nazarene through the streets of Quiapo, Manila.

Meanwhile, the last of the nine-day novenario in honor of the Black Nazarene that began last Dec. 31 will be held at the Quiapo Church at 6 p.m. today. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Poong Hesus Nazareno: Ang Daan, Ang Katotohanan at Ang Buhay.”

Meanwhile, the Manila Police District yesterday reminded the public that the liquor and gun ban in line with the Traslacion tomorrow will be implemented starting today.

MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said the liquor ban will be implemented from 6 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

“This will cover the temporary ban on the sale, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages within the 500 meter radius of the vicinity of the route, Quirino Grandstand, and Quiapo Church,” Coronel said.

On the other hand, Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence will be suspended from midnight Monday to midnight Wednesday in the National Capital Region, Senior Insp. Albert Bucal of the MPD Public Information Office said.

“This is to ensure that the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene is free from firearm-related incident,” Bucal said.

He said that members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other law enforcement agencies performing official duties and wearing their prescribed uniforms are exempted from the ban. (Christina I. Hermoso and Jaimie Rose A. Aberia)