Filipinos honour Christ statue in raucous festival

The devotees believe the black statue of Jesus Christ has mystical powers.

Updated: Jan 09, 2011, 12:14 PM IST

Manila: Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics in the Philippine capital have joined a raucous annual procession of a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ that they believe has mystical powers, seeking miracles for problems including poverty, cancer, an unfaithful husband and war.
Officials say more than 300 people fainted or got sick during an overnight prayer vigil and several others were injured when barefoot devotees surged forward and trampled over iron railings to try to touch the 404-year-old image of Christ — known as the Black Nazarene.
Police say the crowd of one million that has already gathered at Manila`s Rizal Park is expected to swell later Sunday. About 3,500 policemen are securing the event.

Bureau Report