What is it about the Traslacion that compels the Catholic faithful to walk the jam-packed, bone-crushing procession barefoot from Quirino Grandstand to Plaza Miranda every January 9? The answer lies in the promise of a miracle.
Devotees of the Black Nazarene or Poong Hesus Nazareno attribute their answered prayers and amazing recoveries from critical illnesses to their fierce faith in Jesus. And as we settle for a safer alternative to the Traslacion this year — after the procession was cancelled for the first time in 234 years to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus — My Pope Philippines looks back at some of the many miracles that have sprung from unceasing prayers and unshakable belief.
Black Nazarene Miracles: Virginia Cantos Survives Cancer
At 35, Virginia Cantos was scheduled to undergo an operation for tongue cancer. On the day of her surgery, her doctor wasn’t available, so she went to Quiapo Church, where she began the first of nine consecutive Masses that she attended. Her husband Fermin reinforced their request for healing by praying at the Lourdes Grotto in Bulacan. (Read:
Now in her 70s, Virginia continues to turn to a Higher Power to cure her of her ailments. “Sabi ko, maawa sa akin ang Panginoon, titiisin ko kaya ngayon malakas naman ako, wala akong nararamdaman—sa awa naman,” she said in an interview.
Black Nazarene Miracles: Prayers Extend the Life of Angeline Quinto’s Mother
In the January 2017 staging of Traslacion, a video of Filipina singer Angeline Quinto being helped down the carriage of the Black Nazarene by a frenzy of devotees went viral on social media. (Read: Five Local Celebrities Who Are Not Afraid to Declare Their Faith Online)
The pop singer is a devotee herself. When her adoptive mother, Sylvia “Mama Bob” Quinto, fell ill, Angeline dropped by Quiapo Church after visiting Mama Bob at the Philippine Heart Center. “Naniniwala na po ako na talagang ma-himala si Poong Nazareno kasi nagkaroon ng pangalawang buhay si Mama ko,” Angeline said in an interview.
Though her mother passed away late last year, the singer’s faith hasn’t waned. “Tuwing nagkakaroon ako ng problema ngayon, doon pa din ako nagpupunta at nagiging maayos ang lahat.”
Black Nazarene Miracles: Filipinos Survive Stroke, Car Crash, and Being Barren
Faith can move mountains, as the old saying goes. For these three devotees in a 2010 feature on the Traslacion, faith can beat the odds. (Read: ‘Save San Sebastian’ Trends Online as Basilica Faces Cultural Issues)
A longtime devotee of the Black Nazarene, Romy Herrera suffered a stroke in 2009, rendering him unable to walk. “Tatlong Biernes ako nag Santo Rosario, [sa] pangatlo, pinalakad Niya ako,” said Romy.
Cornelio Martin figured in a car accident in 1995. A miracle is the only way to explain how he came out of the total wreck unscathed. The survivor of three strokes owns a life-size image of the Black Nazarene, which has become part of the Traslacion’s replica procession for years.
Marilou Ramos shocked skeptics who told her she would never have children, given her small uterus. She credits her devotion to the Black Nazarene for blessing her with 12 kids, all of whom are devotees like their mother.
Black Nazarene Miracles: Baby Kyla Gets Cured of Meningitis
What do you do when doctors tell you that your baby only has a 50/50 chance of surviving meningitis? (Read: 5 Powerful Prayers for Good Health)
Pray hard for a miracle, as Chriza Castillo did for her then 2-month-old daughter Kyla. As the little girl fought for her life, Chriza and her husband alternated hospital duties and Friday Masses at Quiapo Church with her parents.
A 2018 video shows that Kyla has more than overcome her life-threatening illness. “Mabait, malabing, at mahal na mahal ng mga lola at lolo niya,” described the young mother of her 8-year-old daughter. “Tinuturuan namin siya magdasal ‘pag dumadaan sa Quiapo [Church].”