Approximately one and a half million devotees joined the Solemn Foot Procession on the Vesperas day of the Fiesta Señor 2019.
According to Rev. Fr. Ric Anthony Reyes, OSA, the solemn foot procession is very significant in living a Christian life.
“First, procession is an expression of faith. Secondly, [it is] very essential in our Christian life because it is a kind of reenactment nga naglakaw ta aning kalibutana nga aduna tay paglaum, padayon ba kitang nagtuo kang Señor Santo Niño. Ipakita nato sa kalibutan ang kinabuhing kristiyahanon and being devoted to Santo Niño.” Rev. Fr. Reyes said.
A veneration to the image of the Holy Child, Señor Santo Niño, was offered by the Augustinian friars and guest priests before sending it to the procession. The veneration was also graced by the presence of Archbishop Jose Palma, Archdiocese of Cebu, Archbishop John Du, Archbishop of Palo, Leyte, and Auxiliary Bishop Antonio Rañola, D.D.
As the images of Sñr. Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe moved during procession, different volunteers and organizations worked together to ensure the safety of the thousands of devotees who joined the stately parade.
Together with the police force, student volunteers from distinctive schools in Cebu City extended their service by forming a protective human barrier (Cordon) to ensure that the crowd is in control and to avoid any untoward occurrences, for the safety of the other devotees who sincerely walked with silent pleas and prayers during the procession.
This shows that Sñr. Sto. Niño is the role model for the youth, towards a sacrificial yet heartwarming service for others; a perfect scenery and example for the 454th Fiesta Señor theme, ”Sto. Niño: Guide of God’s Children to Humility and Service”.
The solemn foot procession is an exact 5-kilometer walk and lasted for four hours and a pontifical mass followed after, presided by Archbishop John Du, Archbishop of Palo.
Archbishop John Du, in his homily, called on parents and elders to give the youth the opportunity to nurture and grow their talents as a measure of their service to the Lord. No matter what their children desire to be—an engineer, a teacher, an artist, a doctor, or more—this becomes their vessel for loving God and for helping our fellow brothers and sisters. Fathers and mothers, then, must empower their children to pursue their aspirations.
The mass presider also addressed the youth’s dreams and how victories can only be gained with the Lord. “We should always keep Jesus in our heart as our companion,” he pronounced. His homily reminds us that we are all loved by God the Father despite all our differences through the Child Jesus.
The entire activity is a success with the cooperation of everyone and with the blessing of a good weather condition despite of the broadcasted Low Pressure Area (LPA). / BMSN Media Centre Student-Writer Volunteers (USJ-R, USC, and CNU)
Photos by: PITIK – BMSN Media Centre Volunteers