Miracle in a dumpster: How an unexpected find became LA’s largest Nazareno celebration

LOS ANGELES — A woman’s unexpected find has become a blessing for the Filipino faithful, especially as they celebrate the Nazareno.

They call this image of the black Nazarene ‘Tatay’ — the Filipino word for ‘father.’

Draped in a red robe, it stands about a foot tall.

But a Filipino community in California believes even bigger things happen for those who never wavered in their faith.

“We’re praying for the sick people, problem people everything family problem. After we pray they really get the blessing. The answered prayers,” says Marie Cordova.

Cordova found this black Nazarene in the Philippines about 7 years ago.

She decided to keep it, eventually sharing the blessings.

“I found it in las Pinas in the trash. And now it’s here. And everybody in America, they are all blessed having faith. And they knew about all the miracles. Happened for six years. After I found him I get really blessed, because something happened to my family that’s really amazing. That year that I found him, I was so blessed.”

Devotees at this annual Nazarene feast in Bellflower share their own tales of miracles.

In the four years since the first procession, the group that started with a miraculous find and handful of friends has become a year-round devotion of novenas and visits.

But their biggest celebration comes during this time of the year on Three Kings Day, when they get together in prayer.

What was once some else’s trash has become a treasured centerpiece for the faithful to devotees. Tatay stands as proof the Lord does work in mysterious ways.

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