By Betheena Unite, Leslie Aquino, and Minerva Newman
Offering his last mass before heading to Vatican City to take up his new post in the Holy Office, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle reminded the Catholic faithful not to replace God and Sto. Nino with other “kings.”
In his homily at his last mass at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Sto. Nino de Tondo in Manila for the feast of Sto. Nino Friday, Tagle encouraged the congregation to always put God in their hearts amid the many temptations surrounding the community.
“May tukso lagi na ang Diyos ay palitan ng ibang hari. Kapag iwinagayway na sa ating harapan ang pera, naku po, baka ang tunay na Diyos ay palitan na, sasambahin na ang pera (There is always the temptation to replace God with another ‘king’. When money is waved in front of us, oh dear, maybe the real God will be replaced and money is the one being worshipped),” Tagle said.
“Kapag nagkaroon ng pagkakataong sumikat, maging makapangyarihan, baka pati ang Diyos saabihin natin, tumabi-tabi ka nga diyan. Parang mas masarap sundan ang kapangyarihan, ang karangyaan (If we get the chance to be famous, to be powerful, we might shove God away. It seems that going after power and wealth is more attractive).”
The archbishop also reminded parishioners to be grounded and keep their faith intact whenever a new temptation to drop God arrives.
“Huwag palitan ng ibang hari ang Diyos. Huwag palitan ng ibang hari ang Sto. Nino na siyang nagdadala talaga ng tunay na kagalingan, paghihilom, at tagumpay sa kasalanan at kamatayan (Do not replace God. Do not replace the Sto. Nino who is the true cure, healing, and victory over sin and death),” Tagle said.
Tagle is set to assume his new position as the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples at the Vatican. After the mass, he was given a farewell tribute by parishioners.
“Whenever there is a calamity such as earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, we always want to help because as there are people not capable of standing on their own,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in his homily in Tondo church yesterday.
“That is one Filipino trait that I hope won’t disappear,” he added.
On Sunday, parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila conducted a second collection in masses for the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption in Batangas and Cavite.
Caritas Manila, its social action arm, is also gathering cash and in-kind donations for the victims.
The prelate, meantime, said that the Sto. Niño is the symbol of the faith of Filipinos that’s why we are close to children.
“Unlike in other race, we don’t look at children as an expense or problem but rather as a gift from God,” said Pabillo.
The faithful, he said should emulate children not only for their humility but also for their faith in God.
“Let us emulate the children for their humility, and their faith in following God,” Pabillo said.
3 million devotees in 2020 Sinulog
CEBU CITY—Millions of people filled the streets of Cebu City throughout the 6.5-kilometer route of the solemn procession which culminated the religious activities of the 455th Feast of the Santo Nino Saturday evening after the Misa Pontifical de Visperas at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino.
Millions of candles were lit that lent a glowing glitter to the streets of this city as the procession solemnly proceeded with devotees singing “Bato Balani sa Gugma” (Magnet of Love) and other hymns to express love, devotion and playful innocence of the miraculous Image of the Sto. Nino.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) chief P/Col. Engelbert Soriano described the procession as orderly as there was no untoward incident reported through the five hours that the procession lasted.
Shiloh Nina Sebolino, a seven-year-old girl devotee who was with her parents during the procession, told The Manila Bulletin that the procession was just like walking, singing, praying with everyone seemingly being carried away with the flow of faith and devotion.
She also said she, herself, was proof of the miracle that the Sto. Niño grants, as she revealed how her parents prayed long and hard to the Infant Jesus for a child for eight years until He gave her to them.
In the early morning of January 18, prior to the solemn mass and procession, was the fluvial parade off the Mactan Channel with at least 179 small and big sea crafts bedecked with colorful flowers and buntings, balloons, and devotees carrying images of the Sto.Nino
The fluvial procession started at 6 a.m. from the Naval Forces Command Headquarters in Mactan Island to Pier 1 in Cebu City where it arrived at about 7:45 a.m. The images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Senor Sto. Nino were then taken back to the Basilica.
READ MORE: 3 million devotees take part in 2020 Sinulog