Hundreds of thousands of mostly barefoot Roman Catholic devotees have joined a raucous procession of a statue of Jesus Christ being pulled through the streets of the Philippine capital. It is an annual ritual to demonstrate faith and seek miracle cures for illnesses and good life.

Police estimate about 500,000 started off from Manila's Rizal Park early Wednesday for the daylong march through the city's central district. The crowd is expected to top 1 million by the time the blackened centuries-old statue, known as the Black Nazarene, is returned to its home in Quiapo Church.

Devotees jostled each other to touch the statue in hopes that its mystical powers will rub off on them.

The Red Cross says dozens suffered minor injuries and one was seriously hurt.