Children are the direct manifestations of the Holy Child—special blessings that hold the family together with ceaseless curiosity and potential to be good followers of Christ.
As a Fiesta Señor tradition, the Children’s Mass is held during the fourth day of novena masses at 8:30 in the morning. Little Niños fill the Basilica compound dressed in their charming costumes despite the early rain, soaked but ready to express their humble faith along with their parents and guardians.
Rev. Fr. Andrew P. Batayola, OSA, School Director of Colegio del Sto. Niño (CSN), presided over the mass. He called on the devotees to be a group of people who walk together on the same road in relation to this year’s theme, “Sto. Niño: Our Source of Peace in the Walk of Faith.”
“Life’s journey should lead us to the Lord. Life’s journey should lead us to worship the Lord… He is the way, or the homeland, or destination. Jesus walks with us. Jesus guides us towards our destination, but at the same time, He is the destination,” he stressed.
Further, Fr. Batayola emphasized that after the encounter with Sto. Niño, it is important for the Catholic faithful to undergo transformation, newness, or individual and communal renewal.
“Our participation with the different liturgical activities related to the Fiesta is a transformative encounter for that is the purpose of every journey. That is the purpose of every step in our walk of faith,” he said.
A special blessing was given to the children by Fr. Batayola before the mass ended.
As the churchgoers departed the Basilica side-by-side, the homily resonated in their unitedness as they walked not just as pilgrims, but together, as children of God. /Lorille Antoinette C. Mata, BMSN Media Centre volunteer