Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno The replica statue of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo is carried by members of the Hijos del Nazareno on its way outside the St. Anthony Abbot Parish Center as it ends its three-day visit in San Antonio town on Sunday, June 18. Photo by STEVE A. GOSUICO.

Thousands flock to Black Nazarene visit in San Antonio

June 19, 2023 People's Tonight 369 views

SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija – Thousands of Catholic devotees flocked to this town to join the procession of the replica image of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo (NPJNQ), which arrived at the St. Anthony Abbot Parish (SAAP) here on Friday, June 16, for the start of a three day-visit that ended on Sunday.

The devotees gathered at the boundary arch of Barangay San Mariano along the provincial road as the Black Nazarene’s image arrived at almost noon for the start of the procession.

From Bgy. San Mariano, the more than three-kilometer procession, passed through Gallego Street in Bgy. Tikiw, then went left to Herrera Road in Bgy. Poblacion before turning right in Cando Street, where the replica image of the NPJNQ was placed inside the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of St. Anthony Abbot.

A total of 12 Holy Masses were consecrated during the visit of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo at the SAAP here within three days.

In his homily during the fourth Holy Mass on the last day of the NPJNQ’s visit at 1 p.m. on Sunday, SAAP rector Rev. Fr. Carlos A. Padilla said that this visit by the Black Nazarene to this town was so “overwhelming” compared to other major religious or fiesta events that happened before in the town, based on the reactions he got after the replica image of the NPDJQ arrived here last Friday.

“Siguro aabutin ng madaling araw ang debosyon ng mga tao, ang dami ng taong pumipila, ang daming dumadating, sapagkat tayo’y lupaypay sa iba’t-ibang sitwasyon, sa iba’t-ibang kaganapan ng ating buhay,” said Fr. Padilla, in illustrating the huge number of devotees begging for spiritual help who flocked inside the parish church here during the public viewing of the replica image here on Saturday night.

Due to the brief three day-visit given to this town this year, Fr. Padilla said he would ask the NPJNQ management to give at least five days to San Antonio town for the image’s return to this town next year.

“Ipagdasal natin upang palaganapin pa at palakasin ang ating pagasa, pakikitungo at pananampalataya sa ating mahal na Panginoong Nasareno,” added Fr. Padilla.

The parish priest also thanked the municipal government led by Mayor Arvin C. Salonga, the local police under Major Rommel C. Nabong, the barangay captains, all the church workers and all those others for extending their helping hand for the success of this religious undertaking here.

After a Holy Mass at 1 p.m. Sunday, Fr. Padilla led the parish in giving send-off ceremonies as the Black Nazarene statue was carried out of the parish center for a motorcade through the town’s main roads en route to its home at Quiapo Church.

During the Mass, Brother Daryl T. Feliciano, from the Hijos Del Nazareno delivered a short catechesis and thanked the local pilgrims for their overwhelming devotion to the Black Nazarene statue.

En route to Quiapo Church, the entourage of NPJNQ went passed Bgys. Julo, Luyos, Sto. Cristo, Maugat, Lawang Kupang, Tikiw, Sta. Cruz, and Papaya.