Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Tagle called on the people, particularly devotees of the Black Nazarene, to always show mercy and compassion to others.
He rallied Catholics to be grateful for the blessings and mercy they receive from God. He noted that millions of devotees turn up every year to join the traslacion because of their deep faith in God.
In his homily during the midnight Mass held at the Quirino grandstand at Rizal Park hours before the start of the traslacion, Tagle stressed that Catholic devotees voluntarily gathered to “honor God’s son, the Black Nazarene.”
Police estimated that more than 40,000 Nazarene devotees attended the midnight mass.
Tagle strongly encouraged devotees to “thank” and “praise” the Lord for the “mercy” and “compassion” they receive.
Pope Francis has declared 2016 the Year of Mercy.
The cardinal said mercy is also the message of the Black Nazarene. Mercy, he noted, is the real essence and meaning of the Eucharist.
Thus, Tagle said devotees should follow the Black Nazarene’s message by showing mercy to others and offering their lives to Jesus Christ.