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A Vibrant Expression of Folk Catholicism


A Vibrant Expression of Folk Catholicism
Image © Sidney Snoeck.

The Black Nazarene embodies a robust folk Catholicism so beloved by anthropologists: a localized faith fervently followed by the hundreds of thousands of devotees every year who risk injury or worse amidst the crush of people.

The statue itself is quite remarkable as a Jesus image: it shows the suffering Christ, prior to his crucifixion, bearing the cross in a stance of agony. The statue is four hundred years old - it was carved by an Aztec artisan in Mexico, then later shipped to the Philippines. Its blackness derives from a ship fire which it miraculously survived, and the statue itself is dressed in a fantastic scarlet and gold ruffled outfit.

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