Church leaders commend devotees of this year’s Black Nazarene feast

Church leaders has lauded the thousands of devotees for observing health and safety protocols against coronavirus during the celebration of feast of Black Nazarene in Quiapo last Saturday.

Msgr. Hernando Coronel, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, said the church is happy to see the people observing physical distancing while queuing just to be able to enter the church.

“We are very happy because the devotees exhibited self-discipline and there was orderliness and systematic way of entering the church,” he said in a media interview on Sunday.

Coronel also acknowledged those who watched the activities in different social media platforms online.

He said the first two morning livestreamed Masses had 50,000 viewers each through the church’s Facebook page.

“During the Mass of Bishop Broderick Pabillo, it got 55,000 in FB (Facebook), 15,000 in YouTube. So they joined thru online and stayed. A huge number followed online. First two masses more than 100,000. We are happy with those numbers with the online community following us,” he said.

Based on the Operation Center report, as of 11 p.m. of Jan. 9, almost 300,000 people attended Masses of Quiapo Church, Sta. Cruz Church, and San Sebastián Church.

“We discouraged the people from coming and I think many followed us and followed the celebration online or in their own parishes,” Coronel said.

Pabillo also commended the devotees for following the safety guidelines.

“The discipline of the devotees is truly remarkable. They expressed their devotion by coming even at great sacrifice, but they are very considerate of the protocols and very patient indeed. It cannot be said that the devotees of Nazareno are unruly,” he added.

According to the Philippine National Police, the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene was generally peaceful. CURRENTPH

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