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Pope to receive 1st commemorative Black Nazarene replica

 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Pope to receive 1st commemorative Black Nazarene replica Reply with quote

UCAN: Pope to receive 1st commemorative Black Nazarene replica
4/16/2007
UCANews ( http://www.ucanews.com )

MANILA, Philippines (UCAN) Pope Benedict XVI will receive the first of 400 miniature Black Nazarene replicas that are being created to commemorate the revered 17th-century statue's fourth centenary in the country.

The first replica of the sculpted wooden brown-faced Christ carrying the cross will be presented to the pope in June this year, David Guevara told UCA News on April 13.

Guevara is project officer of Nazareno 400, a committee the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene established in Manila's Quiapo district to lead the commemoration of the statue's 400th anniversary this year. It comprises lay leaders and some government officials.

Woodcarvers in Paete town, Laguna province, 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) south of Manila, were commissioned to craft the 400 miniature images of the life-sized statue of the Christ that Spanish Augustinian priests reportedly brought to Manila from Mexico in 1606, Guevara reported.

Last April 11, Msgr. Josefino Ramirez, rector and pastor of the minor basilica, presented Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila the second of the replicas at the cardinal's residence in the Intramuros area of the capital. It bears serial number 1607. Guevara explained that the serial numbers start with the year the original statue was brought to the Philippines.

The other replicas are being sold for 20,000 pesos ($417 USD) each to raise funds for church education and feeding programs, and other projects benefiting street children. This is one of several activities the commemoration committee is running through June to raise funds for church social projects.

Each purchase of a replica entitles the buyer to 20 tickets for a prize drawing. The winner will receive two round-trip tickets to Rome, hotel accommodations for seven nights and eight days, and $500 in pocket money.

While in Rome, the winner will present image number 1606 to the pope, Guevara said. "It was Msgr. Ramirez's vision to make the holy father aware of our people's fervent devotion to the Black Nazarene, and whoever will win can be the one to invite the pope to come to the Philippines to witness that."

According to the project officer, the 17-inch replicas have carved wooden bodies and resin heads, made from a mold. Each is set on a base and clad in fabric cut from garb worn by the original statue from Mexico, with a cross made of wood from the original accompanying cross, the Nazareno 400 website says. The statuette can be encased in glass at the buyer's request.

Guevara told UCA News the mold for the images' head would be destroyed to avoid unauthorized replication.

As part of the commemoration, his group also is selling Stampitas ng Pasasalamat (prayer cards of thanks) bearing the novena to the Black Nazarene as well as Nazareno 400 rosaries and Retablos, small altars for displaying the commemorative or any of the other replicas of the statue that are available.

The project's website says each Stampita contains a "3-by-2-inch piece of cloth from a dress previously worn by the Nazareno, while the rosary's crucifix has a piece of wood from the original cross."

Paul Sison, head of the Nazareno 400 secretariat, said Cardinal Rosales declared May 31, 2006, to June 1, 2007, as the jubilee year of the fourth centenary of the arrival of the Black Nazarene statue from Mexico.

The feast of the Black Nazarene is celebrated Jan. 9.
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