Santo Niño to visit City Jail, hospitals
CEBU, Philippines — As a prelude to the highly-anticipated Fiesta Señor 2019, the Augustinian community in Cebu is sending the pilgrim image of Señor Santo Niño to hospitals and jail facilities to bring healing to the sick and prisoners.
Father Ric Anthony Reyes, member of the Augustinians who are custodians of the miraculous image, said the visit will allow the sick and the prisoners a special access to venerate the Holy Child despite their situation.
“The objective of the visit is to reach out our brothers and sisters who can’t join the fiesta physically because of their debility or because of controlled conditions,” he told The FREEMAN.
The organizers planned for the Santo Niño pilgrim image to visit four hospitals and the Cebu City Jail starting January 4. The series of visits are part of the preliminary activities for the Fiesta Señor 2019 before the start of the Novena Masses on January 11. The feast day is a movable event that is observed every third Sunday of January.
Councilor David Tumulak, chairman of the Sinulog Foundation Inc., will spearhead the activity in collaboration with the Augustinians.
The Augustinian fathers added the pilgrim image’s visits to the hospitals and jail in the weeklong program to bring the devotion to the Holy Child beyond the peripheries of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño to reach out Catholics who cannot visit to pay homage to the miraculous image.
The pilgrim image is used for the visits to preserve the original, which has been kept for decades at its sanctuary at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu in downtown Cebu City.
Several stories had been passed on from accounts of healing or granting favors to mysteries, saying that the Holy Child continues to encounter with ordinary people at present.
The schedules are as follows: Jan. 4 at Cebu City Medical Center; Jan. 5 at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center; Jan. 6 at Cebu Doctors’ Hospital; and Jan. 7 at Chong Hua Hospital. The pilgrim image will be transferred to Cebu City Jail, both at the female and male dormitories, on Jan. 8.
From the city jail, the image will proceed to Guadalupe Parish Church on January 9 in preparation for the Walk with Jesus the next day.
Tumulak said several other activities like cultural have already started. He said the Sinulog Street Fair which gives the public an area to purchase Sinulog merchandise and other items along Osmeña Boulevard started on January 1. It is set to run until the end of the month.
He said the nightly activities at Plaza Independencia and Osmeña Circle also started last January 1.
The Sinulog 2019 will kick off on January 11 after the 2:30 p.m. Mass at Basilica Minore del Santo Niño which will be followed by a launching parade from Plaza Independencia to Cebu City Sports Center where a short program will take place to launch the festival.
Sinulog sa Lalawigan will be held on January 12 while Sinulog sa Barangay sa Dakbayan will be on January 13. The 39th Sinulog Grand Parade will be on January 20. (FREEMAN)