January 9, 2018
THE MIRACLES OF THE BLACK NAZARENE AND OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
The famous Black Nazarene statue is found in the church of St. John de Baptist in Quiapo, Manila. This statue came from Acapulco, Mexico and there are mysteries that shroud it. It arrived in the islands in 1606 and they say that it survived the fire that destroyed the galleon that carried it. Hence it was called Black Nazarene, due to the burnt wood, which was a testament of its miracle. That is, it survived the blaze. Every January, the feast of the Black Nazarene or commonly known as, Pista ng Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno, is brought out to greet the thousands of devotees that flock to Quiapo expecting mircacles.
If in the Philippines Feast of the Black Nazarene is the biggest celebration, in Mexico it is the Our Lady of Guadalupe. The team of Biyaheng Langit visited the Basilica and was able to enter the second of its three areas. This was said to be the part where the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe manifests her miracles. Back in 2001 when I covered an international conference in Mexico on our Filipino migrant workers, I was able to visit the famous shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was almost sunset and we didn’t know what part of the basilica the Lady of Guadalupe was enshrined. We took a video of all the paintings despite the low light. What we couldn’t understand was that our camera would suddenly “irised”. And we thought that our camera was ruined. It was a miracle that we saw a lone figure of Our Lady of Guadalupe show up in the video despite the fact that we took images of all the paintings in the Basilica. Because of this, we decided to do a special report at that moment. The problem was, all of the stores in the Basilica was already closed, save for one. That lone store owner waved to us and said, “I know you need something from me. Hurry-up get it now.” We went in and found what we were looking for, the book on Our Lady of Guadalupe. We took it as a sign back then that Our Lady of Guadalupe wanted her story to be told.
Based on the book we found, it was 1531 when Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Guadalupe, Mexico. It was followed by 3 more apparitions, witnessed by different people. Her devotees started to grow as miracles started to happen. It was also in 1531 that a young lad named Juan Diego saw the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a scarf that he owned. That cloth that contained the virgin’s image survived 400 years.
In 1791, nitric acid spilled on the cloth by accident yet both the cloth and the image survived. It also survived when a bomb fell on the church of Guadalupe. Everything was reduced to rubble, save for the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Pope Pius XI declared Our Lady of Guadalupe the Heavenly Patroness of the Philippines. The original image is still in Mexico and a replica of the Black Nazarene as well. Both images survived calamities.
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