MANHATTAN, New York, Jan. 11, 2016—Filipino devotees of the Black Nazarene across New York and New Jersey failed to carry the religious image in procession around Times Square, let alone walk barefooted, due to the cold winter weather.
Instead, the devotees carried the image in an indoor procession at the Holy Cross Church, where Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, celebrated a solemn high Mass for the feast day last Saturday, Jan. 9.
In his homily, Auza, who hails from Talibon, Bohol, assured the Filipino devotees who filled the church, that failing to personally participate in the festivities in Manila won’t diminish the sincerity of their devotion to the Jesus, the Black Nazarene.
“Even if we cannot make it to the translacion in Manila, we are here in an interior pilgrimage that is not only as strong as it is sincere, it should be at least as meaningful as it is in Manila. But if it is more sincere than it is in Manila, then it is more meaningful to us,” he said.
Auza added that devotion to the Poon Hesus Nazareno should not be misconstrued as being limited to participating in the procession barefooted.
“We come here but we cannot remove our socks and our shoes because its too cold. But all the same, we have the same approach: we prostrate ourselves before the Poon Nazareno as a sign of our adoration and worship. We come here not only to touch his cross or his foot, but to be touched and to be transformed by him so that we may share in his divinity,” he added. (Kris Bayos/CBCP News)