REFUGE AND STRENGTH: Sñr. Sto. Niño Visits the Sick and Neglected
Fiesta Señor 2019 Preliminary Activities
The series of visitation of the image of the Holy Child served as the pre-celebration of the Fiesta Señor 2019 for devotees who cannot come to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino during the novena masses, as they also prepare themselves, mind and heart, for the feast of Sñr. Sto. Niño de Cebu.
The said activity kicked-off with the arrival of Sto. Niño at the Cebu City Medical Center last January 4, 2019.
See full article: Sto. Niño Visits at CCMC
CCMC to Sotto
The pilgrim image of the Señor Santo Niño de Cebu was then brought from the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) all the way to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) the following day (January 5, 2019).
VSMMC is the second hospital that was scheduled to receive the pilgrim image of the Holy Child.
Before bringing to the second destination, a send-off mass was celebrated at the St. Florian Chapel CCMC by Rev. Fr. Genesis P. Labana, OSA, Director of the Basilica Media Centre.
“Hinaot nga sa iyang pagduaw daghan ang mga kasingkasing nga natandog. Daghan ang mga kasingkasing nga nahatagan og paglaum—paglaum nga mo padayun sa kinabuhi bisan pa sa kalisod nga ilang gi agian.” Rev. Fr. Labana said during his homily.
(Hopefully in His visit, many hearts are touched and are given hope. Hope that will let them continue in life despite the difficulties they have faced.)
After the Holy Eucharistic celebration, the image was ready for its visit to VSMMC through a caravan. Upon reaching the said hospital, the people gave a warm welcome to the image of the Santo Niño.
A welcome mass was followed after the arrival at VSMMC which was presided by Rev. Fr. Celso “Boying” Magbanua Jr., chaplain priest of the Perpetual Succor Hospital.
“Ang pagsaulog nato sa pista ni Sñr. Santo Niño [kay] pahinomdom kanato nga ang Ginoo kanunay nag uban kanato. So, the fact nga siya muduaw sa mga hospital labi na dinhi sa Vicente Sotto og gusto ipasabot nga si Sñr Santo Niño mismo nagpahibaw nga you are not alone in your suffering, you are not alone in your sickness, in your struggle, in your poverty because He will always be there with you no matter what,” Rev. Fr. Magbanua said in an interview.
(The celebration of the feast of Sñr. Sto. Niño reminds us that God is always with us. So, the fact that the child Jesus visits hospitals, especially here in Vicente Sotto, is a manifestation of His presence among you. He wants all of you to know that you are not alone in your suffering; you are not alone in your sickness, in your struggle, in your poverty because He will always be there with you no matter what.)
Rev. Fr. Magbanua is one of the priests who hold masses at the VSMMC every Monday.
After the Eucharistic mass, the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu roamed around to the different wards of the hospital to visit the patients.
Mrs. Sara Sanchez, chief nurse of the VSMMC, shared her feelings towards the patients upon seeing them teary-eyed.
“We are so blessed kay nakaari gyud ang Señor Santo Niño kay dili baya gyud ni sila maka adto sa Basilica. We are bringing God to them,” Mrs. Sanchez said.
(We are so blessed because Sñr. Sto Niño was able to visit because they [patients] cannot go to the Basilica. We are bringing God to them.)
The faces of the patients, upon seeing the image of the Holy Child, were filled with delight as they waved and touched the image of the Holy Child.
Sotto to CDU-H
The image of the Señor Santo Niño de Cebu arrived at the Cebu Doctors Hospital at around 1pm, January 6, 2019 coming from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).
Cebu Doctors Hospital is the third hospital that Santo Niño was made to visit. It was their first time being visited by the image of the Santo Niño and hopefully, it won’t be the last.
The image was welcomed by celebrating a holy mass presided by Rev. Fr. Julius Pilarion.
Rev. Fr. Pilarion shared in his homily that they were so pleased and happy to be chosen by the Augustinian friars of the Basilica as part of this year’s hospital visits.
“So there are only four hospitals and we are privileged to be visited by our beloved Sñr. Santo Niño,” Rev. Fr. Pilarion said.
After the holy mass, Rev. Fr. Pilarion danced the image of the Sñr. Santo Niño followed by the CEO of Cebu Doctors Hospital and the board of directors.
Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazaball III, CEO of the Cebu Doctors Hospital, shared his feelings of happiness and gratitude that they were selected as one of the four hospitals that the image of the Sñr. Santo Niño will visit and stay overnight for vigil.
“This is a very good opportunity for the patients, our sick patients to visit and touch the image of Santo Niño. Hopefully, they will be cured of whatever illnesses they have,” he added.
Dr. Yong prays that the rest of the Filipinos, not only the Cebuanos, could be all in good health, and that we will be away from calamities so that there will be less victims who would suffer.
On the following day, another mass was held which served as the send-off mass before the image was brought to the next destination which is the Chong Hua Hospital.
CDU-H to Chong Hua
The pilgrim image of the Holy Child, Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu visited Chong Hua Hospital last January 7, 2018. Chong Hua Hospital is the last stop for the hospital visits of this year’s fiesta.
A traditional Sinulog dance was offered and prepared by Chong Hua Hospital’s staff upon the arrival of the image of Holy Child.
In honor of His arrival, a Eucharistic celebration was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Cresenciano Ubod and co-presided by Rev. Fr. Julius Pilarion.
Fr. Ubod shared how happy he is that a lot of people welcomed the image of the Holy Child. He also emphasized the dedication of the people towards Señor Sto. Niño.
Patients down to the administration of Chong Hua Hospital attended the Eucharistic celebration.
After the holy mass, the image of Señor Sto. Niño went around the hospital to visit different wards and nursing stations.
Dr. Joanne O. Cosin, M.D, Senior Vice-President for Clinical Operations, expressed their gratitude that the Señor Sto. Niño came to visit Chong Hua Hospital.
“We feel very honored dili baya maka-afford ng during the schedule tanang hospital mabisitahan. We are one of the few institutions nga bisitahon and that alone is a great honor.” Dr. Cosin said.
(We feel very honored since it can’t be afforded that, with the given schedule, all hospitals will be visited. We are one of the few institutions to be visited, and that alone is a great honor.)
In addition, Ms. Tina Marie H. Gandionco, the program head for the preparations of the visit can’t explain her emotions when she saw the little child.
“When you can see the little child you know you can’t help but just be filled with so much tears and expressions in your heart that you can’t explain.” Ms. Gandionco expressed.
Dr. Cosin and Ms. Gandionco, both felt honored and grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team to welcome the Holy Child in the doors of Chong Hua. They also thanked the cooperation of the whole institution since it is not only the main branch that took part of the preparations but also their Mandaue branch.
Chong Hua to City Jail
Last January 8, 2019, Sñr. Sto. Niño was transferred, after the send-off mass, from the Chong Hua Hospital to the Cebu City Jail and was again welcomed through a traditional Sinulog dance offered by the detainees and followed by a Eucharistic celebration.
Despite the annual visitation of the image of the Holy Child for more than seven years now, it still stays as a remarkable moment for the devotees at the Cebu City Jail to be visited by the Holy Child.
See full article: Faith Behind Bars: Sto. Niño Jail Visit
City Jail to Guadalupe Church
The image of the Holy Child, Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu visited Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church last January 9, 2019. It was the last stop after the entire visitation of different hospitals and prison before the Opening Salvo of the upcoming Fiesta Señor 2019.
It is the first time in history that the image of the Holy Child, Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu stayed at the said church.
Path Caballero, coordinator of the Guadalupe Eucharistic Sinulog Dancers said, “As we celebrate our 31st anniversary of being part of the Fiesta Señor, we are very happy and honored to welcome the image of Señor Sto. Niño here at Guadalupe.”
The Guadalupe Eucharistic Sinulog Dancers offered a traditional Sinulog dance as part of their preparation and a welcome mass followed after which was celebrated by Rev. Father Manuel Tan, priest coordinator of the church.
Rev. Fr. Tan expressed his happiness in behalf of the devotees that this is very meaningful to them as it was the first time that the image of the Holy Child visited Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church was open 24 hours during the stay of Snr. Sto. Nino as there was an overnight vigil and a farewell mass afterwards before the walk to Fuente Osmeña for the celebration of the Opening Salvo of Fiesta Señor 2019 through the Walk with Jesus. / Analyn Conocono, Michee Dionne Balite, Anamarie Nanol, Carmelle Ferrater – USJ-R Communication Interns