Filipinos in US hold Black Nazarene feast

BELLFLOWER, Calif. – Filipino devotees in the United States held their own Black Nazarene feast in the streets of Southern California.

Over 300 devotees flocked to the Knights of Columbus headquarters in Bellflower where they staged a day-long feast for the Black Nazarene, kicking off with a short procession around the streets of South Bay town.

The “Mahal na Poong Hesus Nazareno” devotees started their celebration last year with a small statue that their prayer group leader, Marie Cordova, found in a Las Piñas dump some 12 years ago. Since then, she has cared for the 12-inch statue.

Devotees claimed that their prayers to the Black Nazarene are answered in a big way, either through health, wealth, or in their relationships.

For the Filipino Catholics, the Black Nazarene feast as a day of prayer — including the procession, novena, and mass — is about strengthening their faith and relationship with God as they bring in the new year especially as Catholics celebrate this year’s “Year of Mercy.”

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