Cebu was chosen for the first time to be the host of the National Youth Day (NYD) 2019 held from April 24-28, 2019. Various activities were set by the organizers for the youth to enjoy and relive their faith in the historical city considered as the cradle of Christianity in the country.
With more than 12,000 participants and volunteers joining for this once in two year gathering, the opening mass was held in the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu on April 25, 2019 at 8:00 in the evening.
Most Rev. Jose S. Palma, DD, Archbishop of Cebu reminds the youth in his homily that in the journey through life we do not walk alone. This is his reflection on the gospel of John on the story of two disciples going to Emmaus. He said, “Someone journeys with us. Jesus who is risen from the dead, walks with us in the journey.”
When dreams and hopes are dashed and frustrations come into life, Bishop Palma reminds the youth that Jesus is with them. “Only God could fill our longings in our hearts.” he further said.
At the beginning of the mass, Rev. Fr. Pacifico C. Nohara Jr., OSA, rector and prior of the Basilica, welcomed the young participants with a message. He prayed that the young people of God may enkindle in their hearts the desire to be holy, to be Christ-like, in service through humility and love like the image of Sto. Nino.
Meanwhile, Bishop Palma, announces to the people of the preparation of Cebu and the Basilica for the 500 years of the introduction of the Christianity in the Philippines. He asked his fellow bishops to welcome the image of Sto. Nino in their Archdioceses and Dioceses, in his pilgrimage all over the country. Undoubtedly, Sto. Nino was present when the first seed of faith was planted in Cebu during the first baptism and wedding of King Humabon and Queen Juana. Ferdinand Magellan gave an image of Sto. Nino to Queen Juana as gift of her baptism.