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Every year on January 9, millions of Filipinos — newspaper reports say as many as 10 million1 — gather in Manila for a procession of the Black Nazarene, or Poong itim na Nazareno, a life-sized statue of a suffering Jesus fallen under the weight of the cross, along a 6.5 km route from Rizal (Luneta) Park to the minor basilica in Quiapo. Few religious celebrations anywhere in the world can match this feast in terms of the number and fervor of devotees surrounding the procession. Attendance has grown remarkably in the last 20 years, and the route has been stretched to accommodate growing crowds. If newspaper accounts are correct, the number of Catholics attending the Nazarene feast equals, or perhaps even doubles that attending recent papal Masses in the same locale. Most Filipino Catholics consider the Nazarene statue to be miraculous, able to heal terminal cancers and other sicknesses, to grant petitions, and to help those in need.