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Sun Jan 11, 2015, 09:05 PM


A million Filipinos join Catholic procession as nation readies for papal visit

Devotees steadied the Black Nazarene statue as it was pulled on a carriage Friday through a crowded Manila street. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

By Oliver Teves
Associated Press
January 10, 2015

MANILA — A man died and nearly 1,000 people were hurt Friday in a chaotic Roman Catholic procession attracting up to 1 million Filipinos in a prelude to a much larger turnout expected during next week’s visit by Pope Francis.

Huge crowds jammed Manila’s streets and jostled to get closer to the wooden Black Nazarene, a statue of Jesus carrying a cross that the faithful believe has miraculous powers to cure ailments and provide good health and fortune.

Manila Vice Mayor Francisco Moreno said one volunteer accompanying the statue died of a heart attack.

Gwen Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said workers treated people for cuts, bruises, and dizziness


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