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5.5 mn people in Philippines parade ahead of Pope’s visit

5.5 mn people in Philippines parade ahead of Pope’s visit
More than five million barefoot devotees paraded a centuries-old icon of Jesus Christ through Manila on Friday in a loud, heaving paroxysm of religious fervour ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to Asia’s bastion of Christianity. In fervent displays of devotion, huge crowds of men, women and children chanted “Viva!” (Long live!) and twirled white handkerchiefs at the Black Nazarene, with some hurling themselves at the supposedly miraculous statue for good luck.

“The Lord is my healer,” Lina Javal, 58, declared after waiting in line for hours to kiss the life-sized ebony statue, showing an AFP reporter the healed incision from throat surgery she underwent last month.

“It’s an extraordinary feeling, it’s like the Holy Spirit is entering my body,” said the clerk from nearby Laguna province. The mammoth procession, estimated at 5.5 million people, crawled at a near snail’s
pace along Manila’s old quarter.
Agencies

Agencies

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