Black Nazarene: Thousands join annual statue parade in Manila

A huge crowd of devotees surrounds the Black Nazarene statue in Manila Image copyright AFP

Vast crowds of people have turned out on the streets of Manila in the Philippines for the procession of the Black Nazarene.

The annual event sees hundreds of thousands of people trying to catch a glimpse of the historic statue of Jesus of Nazareth.

The Black Nazarene is carried into place by devotees in Manila (9 Jan 2019) Image copyright AFP
Image caption The statue was carved in Mexico and arrived in the Philippines in the 17th Century, surviving a fire on board a ship on the way. It is one of the Philippines’ most revered devotional objects.
Crowds in Manila surround the Black Nazarene statue (9 Jan 2019) Image copyright EPA
Image caption It now resides for most of the year in a church in Quiapo district. But every January it is carried on a 7km (4.5 mile) route through the streets of the capital.
Catholics stand on each others' shoulders to try to touch the statue in Manila (9 Jan 2019) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hundreds of thousands of people turn out to see it. Devotees – who go barefoot – believe touching or being close to the statue can cure illnesses or bring good luck.
A man's face is seen among a pile of people in Manila, Philippines (9 Jan 2019) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Philippines is a deeply Catholic country, and many devotees are prepared to risk serious injury for a chance of getting close to the Black Nazarene.
An unconscious devotee is carried through the crowd on a stretcher (9 Jan 2019) Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Philippine Red Cross said that by mid-morning they had treated more than 600 people for conditions like breathing problems, fainting and bruises. Three people were taken to hospital.
A man holds a replica of the Black Nazarene in Manila (7 Jan 2019) Image copyright Getty/TED ALJIBE
Image caption In the days before the procession, the statue is blessed at the church in Quiapo. Many people bring along their replicas for blessing too.
Catholics holds up a replica of the Black Nazarene at a blessing in Manila (7 Jan 2019) Image copyright Getty/TED ALJIBE
Image caption Church officials say the procession is a sign of the thriving faith of Catholic Filipinos and that amid the chaos there is also a sense of serenity, AFP reports.

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