Nazarene procession ends after 18 hours

Posted at 01/10/13 7:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The procession of the image of the Black Nazarene ended before dawn on Thursday, 18 hours after the iconic figure left its starting point at the Quirino Grandstand.

The image of the dark-skinned Christ arrived at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene at around 1:30 a.m. after some 9 million devotees scrambled to touch it.

The Philippine Red Cross, meanwhile, said it had given medical attention to some 1,428 devotees.

Now on its 406th year, the procession commemorated the feast of the "traslacion" or the transfer of the sacred image from the Recollect Church in Intramuros, Manila to the Quiapo Church in 1787.

The statue was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests from Mexico in 1607, and its dark color is believed to have been caused by it being slightly burnt in a fire aboard the Spanish galleon on which it was being transported.