The Feast of the Sto. Niño was celebrated by the Catholic community last Sunday, January 19th, including St Peter’s Roman Catholic Parish. Held at the Petrus Hall at 3 pm, it was a full house after the parish combined the 2 pm and 4:30 pm masses to give way to the special celebration. Parishioners were requested to wear red and were provided with yellow flags to make the celebration more festive, just how the feast is celebrated in the Philippines. Monsignor Enrique Samson Jr together with Fr Mar Batucan officiated the mass. In his homily, Monsignor Samson re-lived the story of our devotion to Sto Niño and the importance of keeping our faith in the Holy Child.
The devotion to the Sto Niño in the Philippines dates back to 1521 when the image was given to Queen Juana by Ferdinand Magellan after she was baptized with her husband, King Humabon, in Cebu, making the devotion as old as the history of Christianity in the country .
After the mass, images of Sto Niño brought by the parishioners were blessed by Monsignor Samson. While the image of Sto Niño was carried around in a procession, everybody joined the festive Sinulog dancing while chanting Viva Senor Santo Niño or Hail Lord Holy Child. The celebration ended with a potluck celebration that the congregation shared.
This is the 4th year that St Peter’s has celebrated the Feast of the Sto Niño. “We are thinking of ways on how to make our celebration more meaningful next year,” Monsignor Samson said.
Next year is Viva Senor Sto Niño 500th year of arrival in the Philippines.
Photos by Noni Manalili and Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal