(Photo grabbed from Manila PIO)

COMMUNITIES can now commemorate the Traslacion in their own way now that it is considered a national feast after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) elevated Quiapo Church to a national shrine.

The CBCP on Sunday, July 9, recognized the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene as a national shrine for the “profound spiritual significance of the Black Nazarene devotion among the Filipino faithful” and its “central role in perpetuating this venerable popular religious tradition centered on the high priesthood of Christ as manifested in his redeeming passion,” it said in a press release.

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula, who declared Quiapo Church an archdiocesan shrine on May 10, made the proposal during the CBCP’s 126th plenary assembly in Kalibo, Aklan.

In an interview with the Varsitarian, Quiapo Church media correspondent Fr. Earl Allyson Valdez said the elevation means local communities can now celebrate a “localized” version of Traslacion, the annual commemoration every Jan. 9 of the image’s transfer from old San Nicolas de Tolentino Church in Intramuros to Quiapo Church.

“One important consequence of this is the recognition of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9 as a national feast, hereby allowing parishes and local communities to celebrate the feast in their own communities,” Valdez said.

“These so-called ‘localized Traslacion’ was an offshoot of the pandemic and the limitations imposed during those times, and we would like communities to continue the practice, now in a formal and organized manner under the leadership of priests and lay devotees,” he added.

The declaration of Jan. 9 as the National Feast of the Black Nazarene needs final confirmation from the Vatican, according to the CBCP press release.

Canon 1231 of the Code of Canon Law states that a church is deemed eligible to be a national shrine upon the approval of the conference of bishops. 

The Black Nazarene, the life-sized wooden image of Jesus Christ carrying the cross that devotees refer to as “Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno,” was transferred to Quiapo Church in 1767 by Manila Archbishop Basilio Hernando.


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