Thousands of people were bonded by faith and joined the solemn procession to honor the Snr. Sto. Niño last Saturday, January 17. Coming from different parts of the country, the devotees of Snr. Sto Niño endured the long hours of discomfort just to see the image of the baby Jesus coming out in the Basilica. They were gathered together to show their devotion for Snr. Sto. Niño and to thank Him for all the blessings they received.
The procession route begins in D. Jakosalem Street going to Osmeña Boulevard then to Fuente Osmeña. Then it turns to Gen. Maxilom Avenue to New Imus Road turning to M.J. Cuenco Avenue again to Osmeña Boulevard and finally back to the Basilica.
The Carroza of the Blessed Virgin Mary was accompanied by different colleges and universities from Osmeña Boulevard to the Basilica while religious organizations started their walk from Jakosalem to Mabini Street followed by the Carroza of Snr. Sto Niño and the devotees.
During the procession, the devotees carry with them their own images of Snr. Sto. Niño; singing and worshiping the baby Jesus, waving their hands to the Carroza of Sr. Sto. Niño that lasted for more than two hours.
A Vesperas Pontifical Mass presided by Bishop Arturo M. Bastes was conducted after the procession that was attended by the Augustinian Orders of the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño. Bishop Bastes was an ordained priest of Society of the Divine Word and was appointed Bishop of Romblon. He was then ordained as Bishop in the same place and became a Coadjutor Bishop of Sorsogon.
During the sermon, Bastes highlighted the people’s acceptance of Sto. Niño and congratulated everyone for being baptized as Christians. He added that the Philippines is considered as the only predominant Christian country in Asia. He shared the origin of the Sto Niño image and how the image was eventually worshiped by Filipino devotees. Bastes considered the arrival of the missionaries in the Philippines as a blessing. He said that if it didn’t happen, he won’t see thousands of people praising Snr. Sto. Niño which he considers a great and wonderful miracle that God vested upon the people.
Bastes added that people should accept God wholeheartedly and remain humble despite the success and achievement one possesses. The priest also celebrated together with the people the 450th Anniversary of the finding of the image of Jesus as well as the 50th year of the Sto. Niño Church as Basilica Minore.
After the mass, the religious community and the devotees united together as they danced to the beat of the Sinulog music shouting “Viva Pit Senyor!” while praising and thanking God for all the blessings. The event ended with extravagant fireworks display that amazed everyone.
The Augustinians organized all the religious activities with it’s theme “SNR. STO. NIÑO, HOPE OF THE PEOPLE.”