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Have Faith in Child Jesus

Gifted by Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon and his consort Hara Humamay when he arrived in 1521, the image of the Santo Niño symbolizes the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines

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This man, a Sto. Niño devotee for years, says he would never miss this celebration for the world.

Following strict restrictions due to Covid-19, the Catholic faithful celebrated the 500th Feast of the Santo Niño on 17 January without the traditional procession, chants, dancing and street festivities.

But despite the absence of the crowd gathered at the Pilgrim Center of Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu City, this did not prevent devotees from altogether celebrating the feast.

In spite of the threat of Covid-19, people line up to get inside Sto. Niño de Tondo Church.

In Metro Manila, parishes that also celebrate annually the feast of the Child Jesus could not stop devotees from gathering to mark the special day of the One they truly trust.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said there is no reason to fear during this trying time brought by the pandemic.

Markers were painted on the streets outside Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish to serve as social distancing guides.

“Perhaps, because of Covid you might say ‘it’s difficult.’ Whatever it may be, come to the Niño for he will bring us to the Father. The Niño tells us to have faith rather than fear. He is small but powerful,” Palma said during the homily.

Devotees raise big and small images of the Sto. Niño during the annual blessing.

“Many times, we only have fear, but today, the Niño tells us: ‘Have faith rather than fear. Put your trust in this little child — small but powerful. Batobalani sa Gugma,” he added.

Through the years, the image of the Sto. Niño has been dressed in costumes depending on the whims of devotees.

The Feast of Santo Niño is celebrated on the third Sunday of January and is usually attended by millions of devotees from all over the world.

The image of the Santo Niño de Cebu is an icon of Christ as a child and is regarded to have performed miracles. Gifted by Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon and his consort Hara Humamay when he arrived in 1521, the image symbolizes the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.

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