I prayed to Him in all churches for them to be healed. Eventually they both died. Although I didn’t get what I prayed for, I later realized that the ‘miracle’ was He helped me get on with life. Father Melvin Castro, from the Diocese of Tarlac, prayed for the healing of his parents. Faith had let him to a greater healing and glory. It was the time of his life when one of those stories occurred. Miracles.
There is no room for an apple to fall. The scenario was like an ocean; except that it is not blue but it’s full of human bodies trying to make a push for one another. The waves and the swells are the shouting voices that filled the air. The heat was just intense to transform sweat to a steam. Devotees nearby are trying to carve their way towards the palpable floating image. The life-sized Black Nazarene carrying the cross on the right shoulder; attached to it is the constant belief that people will be healed by the miracle of faith.
Idolatry is a sin. If there were tremendous believers, there were also the people who stand on the other side of the shore with their broad opposition. Referring to the feast as a negative way of exercising people’s faith. “We are violating the second commandment of God,” Sanuel Velasco, BS Psychology at the University of Caloocan City, member of a Christian Community. Saying that people will not be save by believing to the image of Nazarene.
The image. The old Black Nazarene image had literally been a silent witness to events through time, dating its advent on the year 1606 from Acapulco, Mexico. Stories said that it was carried onboard by a galleon that caught fire; the reason by the image became black, and survived only because of a miracle. Other confirmation said that it really originally black because the wood used to create it relatively changes to black as time goes by (nonetheless it’s already hundred years old). Not the surprising thing is that the original Nazarene image has long ago been destroyed after the World War II. To sum up, there are really two copy images containing ‘original parts’ (the head and other parts). The rest of the parts were already been carefully replicated to preserve the holy image.
“It is not bad to create statues or images. It is only becoming negative because people believe that from the Nazarene (image) comes the healing and others,” added Velasco.
The culture. From the start, Filipinos are most likely to be big fanatics to the Divine. In times of problems, sufferings and confusion, we tend to seek for a Greater Being, for help and guidance. Filipinos are willing to sacrifice, taking it to such degree as joining the ‘Traslacion’ (passage), in spite of the danger that awaits in the jammed ocean of people. Filipinos are family-oriented, the popular reason why we ask and seek for the healing of our love ones in various ways. Atoning sins is also one of the things why devotees choose to suffer. Kissing the holy images, wiping the face and body of the image, offering silent prayers and songs to these images. All of these as great signs of how Filipinos show affection to God. It’s not because it’s pure idolatry. It’s because through this image, people see Jesus. By seeing Jesus as God, people also seek for a miracle by touching and getting close to the Black Nazarene. All in the name of love and faith, people believe that they will be healed and forgiven.
January 9. The news on the television said that around 12 million participants are expected to join the Traslacion. For that man in the midst of the vast crowd, it can be more that that 12 million. That certain man, is one of those who didn’t seize to walk barefoot for hours. He keeps on trying to get closer to the image, all devotees are as eager as him. He also wanted healing and atonement.
“Sometimes it is in believing that one shall see the miracles,” Father Melvin Castro. (Executive Secretary of CBCP-ECFL) Miracles that are visible to those who believe.
*Quotation from Fr. Melvin Castro was published on the year 2014.