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Tens of thousands of Filipinos gathered for a mass in Manila on Thursday (January 9) to honour a black statue of Jesus Christ believed to bring miracles to the faithful seeking the answer to prayers. Devotees gathered for an early morning mass at an outdoor auditorium in Manila's largest park, where thousands of people had camped out the night before. Then Roman Catholic devotees flocked around the carriage containing the wooden statue known as the "Black Nazarene" as it crawled through the city, hoping that a slight touch would bless them and heal their illnesses and those of their relatives. Some onlookers threw white towels and handkerchiefs to those on the carriage for them to wipe on the statue, which depicts Jesus kneeling with a heavy cross, in the hope of carrying away some of its healing powers. Some devotees determined to touch or catch sight of the wooden icon, scrambled over people's heads and shoulders as the carriage moved slowly through the crowd.