History of the Black Nazarene and Devotion

Black Nazarene
Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno
Poong Hesus Nazareno
History of the Two Nazarene Statues

The statue was made by an anonymous Mexican sculptor, and the image arrived in Manila via galleon from Acapulco, Mexico. Folk tradition attributes the dark colour of the statue to a fire on the ship that charred the originally white skin.

The surviving image in Quiapo has been in the Church for a long time, and has withstood fires, earthquakes and war. A common error among the devotees is that this copy is conflated with the lost image from the Church of Saint Nicholas Tolentino, which belonged to the Recollects within Intramuros. The Quiapo image was available for physical veneration by devotees, while the Recollects' always kept their copy away from crowds above the high altar.

The present-day statue enshrined in Quiapo Church is in fact a composite of the original head and a replica body, the latter sculpted by renowned Filipino Santero (saint-maker) Gener Manlaqui. The original body is meanwhile connected to the replica's head and is stored elsewhere until the three major annual processions.


Religious veneration of the Black Nazarene is rooted among Filipinos who identify themselves with the Passion of Jesus Christ. Many devotees of the Black Nazarene relate their poverty and daily struggles to the Passion of Christ as represented by the image. The actual patron saint of the minor Basilica is Saint John the Baptist, but the Black Nazarene is more popular. Devotees pay homage to it at the end of each mass offered in the shrine by clapping their hands.

Every Friday of the year is colloquially known as "Quiapo Day" since the novena in the image's honour is held on this day nationwide. Similar to "Baclaran Day" (which is ascribed to Wednesdays), commuters associate this term with heavy traffic in the city due to visiting devotees.

courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Nazarene