World

Man dies in Catholic procession in Manila ahead of pope's visit

  • Filipino devotees prepare to move the carriage bearing the image of the Black Nazarene, center, for its annual procession to celebrate its feast day Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The raucous celebration drew tens of thousands of devotees in a barefoot procession around Manila streets. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Filipino devotees prepare to move the carriage bearing the image of the Black Nazarene, center, for its annual procession to celebrate its feast day Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The raucous celebration drew tens of thousands of devotees in a barefoot procession around Manila streets. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Filipino devotees wave handkerchiefs to cheer the image of the Black Nazarene, center, during its annual procession to celebrate its feast day Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The raucous celebration drew tens of thousands of devotees in a barefoot procession around Manila streets. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Filipino devotees wave handkerchiefs to cheer the image of the Black Nazarene, center, during its annual procession to celebrate its feast day Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The raucous celebration drew tens of thousands of devotees in a barefoot procession around Manila streets. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Filipino devotees cling to kiss the cross of the Black Nazarene during a procession to celebrate its feast day Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The raucous celebration drew tens of thousands of devotees in a barefoot procession around Manila streets. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Filipino devotees cling to kiss the cross of the Black Nazarene during a procession to celebrate its feast day Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The raucous celebration drew tens of thousands of devotees in a barefoot procession around Manila streets. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

One man has died during an annual Roman Catholic procession in the Philippine capital that has attracted up to a million devotees.

The major religious festival in the Philippines is also a prelude to a much larger turnout expected during next week's visit by Pope Francis.

Manila Vice Mayor Francisco Moreno says one volunteer accompanying the statue of the Black Nazarene being paraded in Manila died of a heart attack early Friday.

The devotees believe the centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ carrying a cross is a source of miraculous powers that could cure ailments and provide good health and fortune.

Police say up to 1 million people have joined or watched the raucous procession. Officials and church leaders expect millions will show up for the papal visit.