Thousands of hearts were touched, brigade of supplications and prayers were lifted and diverse individuals emerged united- these in manifestation during the hourly celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the pilgrim center of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu (BMSN).
As the 455th celebration of the Fiesta Senior commenced yesterday with the penitential ‘Walk with Jesus’, flock of devotees joined the walk early in the morning bringing the petitions and faith within their hearts despite the heavy rain.
The penitential foot procession is succeeded by the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Rev. Fr. Pacifico C. Nohara, Jr., OSA, prior rector of BMSN followed by the installation of Hermano and Hermana Mayores 2020 in the name of Mr. Alvin Doromal and Mrs. Elvie Doromal.
For many years, the Holy Eucharist is done hourly within the grounds of the Basilica from 4 o’clock in the morning before the sun rises until 7 o’clock in the evening after the sun sets. This just proves that the faith can be found anywhere, anytime and any circumstances that may happen in the midst of life.
One of the most anticipated part of the Fiesta Señor is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist where it serves as an avenue for devotees to pour out their desires, dreams, entreaties, thanksgiving and dilemma in life to the Holy Child, Señor Santo Niño de Cebu.
With this year’s theme, “Santo Niño: Cause of our Unity and Charity”, it has been professed in the spiritual edification [homily] during every celebration of the Holy Eucharist that through following the ways of Señor Santo Niño, people are capable in upholding unity and charity.
Rev. Fr. Ruel G. Marigomen, Parish Priest of San Pedro Calungsod Parish, Pulangbato, Cebu and a first-time mass presider in the Basilica, emphasized in his homily during the 1:00PM first day novena mass, that the essence of the fiesta celebration is not about entertainment, chaos, hazard drinking, and bumping inside the church but it is about unity accompanied by prayers and charity.
“Basta Fiesta Señor, daghan kaayong mga kalingawan, na’y inom, naa’y away, naa sa’y tinukmoray. Ang tinuod nga magsaulog dili lamang ang kiat nga mao ang kalingawan, inom, away ug tinukmoray apan kiat nga nagkahulogan kahiusa inubanan sa ampo ug tabang.” Rev. Fr. Marigomen said.
(Every Fiesta Señor, there are lots of entertainment, liquor, chaos, and bumping incidents. The genuine celebration is not only about entertainment, liquor, chaos, and bumping incidents but it’s about unity accompanied by prayers and charity.)
In the breaking silence of dawn, where people are most likely asleep and in the wild buzz of the night where people are most likely to prepare for the next day, the Holy Child Señor Santo Niño is the core reason why one always sees the goodness of waking up early and going home late because one eagerly wants to attend the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
“Pilion gihapon nako mosimba bisa’g unsa pa na kasayo momata or kadugay ko mauli sa balay kay tungod ni Santo Niño, ganahan ka’y ko mosimba diha sa Santo Niño.” Maryjoy Romagos, a graduating student said.
(I still choose to attend mass no matter how early I wake up or late I arrive in the house because of Santo Niño, I really like to attend mass at Santo Niño.)
With the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, one finds more ways to understand the ways of the Holy Child.
According to Rev. Fr. Cresenciano Ubod, Parish Priest of San Vicente Ferrer Parish, Liloan Cebu and one of the mass presiders for the first novena masses, following Santo Niño will make someone the happiness and good news to others.
“If we follow Santo Niño, we will be the happiness and the good news to others. We are all poor in various levels, and we must give good news to each and everyone.” Rev. Fr. Ubod said.
Over the centuries, faith for the Holy Child has always been manifested through various ways and one of these is the thousand of devotees attending masses.
The Holy Eucharist as the seal of God’s covenant celebrates a union of love where it understands that every individual comes in different dimensions may it be in religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, socio-economic status and the like. Thus, it is not only a mere celebration but a celebration of unity and charity where one accepts diversity and share the love as what the Holy Child Santo Niño withstands. /Analyn Conocono, BMSN Media Centre Volunteer