In search of a healing touch

Thousands of Catholics waited for hours for a chance to touch a statue of a black Jesus Christ, borne on a carriage pulled by ropes, during an annual procession in Manila yesterday.

The life-size statue, called Black Nazarene, is believed to have miraculous healing powers. Devotees threw towels to people on the carriage to wipe on the statue, while others jostled to touch the thick ropes used to pull the carriage, believing the slightest touch would heal their illnesses, reported Reuters.

The authorities estimated that the procession would draw about five million devotees.

The statue was brought to the Philippines by a group of missionaries from Mexico in 1606.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2019, with the headline 'In search of a healing touch'. Print Edition | Subscribe