The new official image of the revered Santo Nino de Pandacan was unveiled and presented to devotees during solemn rites in time for the feast of the Child Jesus over the weekend.
The solemn vesting or “maringal na pagbibihis” of the new official image of the Santo Niño de Pandacan was held at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila last Saturday, January 16, a day before the feast of the Santo Nino which was observed last Sunday, January 17.
The new icon was made from the original wooden image of the parish. The broken piece of the finger of the Child Jesus which was spared from the fire that broke out in July, 2020, was kept safe by the parish. The original finger, according to the Manila Cathedral, will be incorporated into the new official image.
On July 10, 2020, the parish of Sto. Niño de Pandacan was ravaged by a fire and among those engulfed by the fire was the 400-year-old historical image of the revered Sto. Niño, an object of devotion to many Filipinos especially in the old district of Pandacan.
The Archdiocese of Manila said the new official image of the Sto. Niño de Pandacan was carved by Joseph P. Magcalas and was painted by Jayson P. Maceo. The vesting of the image was done by Dr. Rafael A. Lopez, James A. Yee, and Joseplito Tayag.
After the solemn vesting, the image was brought to the Sto. Nino Parish in Pandacan by Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector and parish priest of the Manila Cathedral with Manila Archdiocese Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who presided over the fiesta mass.
Bishop Pabillo, in his homily, highlighted the Filipinos’ trait of being “Christ-centered.”
“One of our traits as Filipino Christians is our being Christ-centered. We are centered on Christ. We are focused on Jesus, thus, our biggest celebrations are Christmas, the Holy Week, the Black Nazarene feast, and the feast of the Santo Nino. We also have a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Divine Mercy,” the Church leader said.
“We have a deep and strong devotion to the Santo Nino, the Child Jesus, that has roots here in Pandacan and in many other places in the country,” Pabillo said.
The 400-year-old image of the Santo Niño de Pandacan was carved out of dark wood, similar to the dark Mexican wood of the images of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo and the Black Madonna of Antipolo. The Spaniards brought the image to the Philippines during the galleon trade from Acapulco, Mexico.