Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Black Nazarene: History

What is the Black Nazarene?

The Black Nazarene refers to a life-sized, dark colored statue of Jesus Christ that was brought to the Philippines from Mexico by the first group of Augustinian Recollect friars sent by Spain. This statue was carved by an Aztec carpenter. Jesus is depicted genuflecting under the weight of the Cross that bore during his Passion.

The Black Nazarene arrived in Manila on May 31, 1606. The statue was initially brought to the first Recollect Church in what is now the Rizal Park (Luneta Park). In 1608, it was transferred to abigger church dedicated to San Nicolas de Tolentino in Intramuros. Then, it was transferred in 1787 by then Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho de Santa Junta y Rufina, to the church in Quiapo - the name Black Nazarene of Quiapo. In Quiapo church, the image survived the great fires that destroyed the Quiapo church in 1791 and 1929. It also withstood the great earthquakes of 1645 and 1863 and the destructive bombing of Manila in 1945 during World War II.

Why Black Nazarene?

It is said that the image was charred black in a fire that broke out on the ship during its trip to Manila from Mexico. It arrived on May 31, 1606, in this form and has always been depicted as such.

How did the devotion develop?

The devotion to the Black Nazarene started when the image was in Intramuros. In 1608, the Recollect Fathers started promoting the devotion to the Suffering of our Lord. After fifteen years, the confraternity or Confradia de Jesus Nazareno was established on April 21, 1621. The brotherhood got its papal blessings from His Holiness Pope Innocent X on April 20, 1650.

In the nineteenth century, Pope Pius VII granted indulgence to those who prayed before the image of the Black Nazarene. The year 2007 marked the 400th year that the Black Nazarene came to the Philippines.

Confraternity of Black Nazarene

@ Houston

In 1991, a group of devotees who migrated in the US and resided in Houston decided to continue the tradition by forming "The Black Nazarene" prayer group of Houston. They held their novena every first Friday of the month to the house where the Black Nazarene is sponsored and housed.

The tradition became history and elected to be housed by the Hermano and Hermana Mayor annually by the members and as devotees grow in numbers .............

We are dedicating this webpage or webblog to them! Let's join and enrich this tradition to our next generation!



  1. Thanks Leo for creating this blogspot for the BNG. Now, we have a tool that can make it easier to get in touch with each other, post any message, announcement, comments or share information, even pictures. I’m sure our group (BNG) will appreciate and be very pleased to know we have our own blogspots and we might have more devotees and blogging buddies as well, as soon as they are made aware of its existence.

    Good job and thanks again, Bro. Leo.


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