January 20, 2018 – Beginning one o’clock in the afternoon, around half a million people witnessed and joined the solemn procession, where the image of Sto. Nino took its place inside the glass case of the carroza.
The 5.67 km route, which brought the Child Jesus from the Basilica, through Osmeña Boulevard, Gen. Maxilom and MJ Cuenco Avenues, then back to the Pilgrim Center, took four hours to finish, a full hour earlier than planned.
Most. Rev. John Du, Archbishop of Palo, Leyte, who was assigned to celebrate the Pontifical Mass afterwards, led the procession, along with the festival’s Hermano and Hermana, and Fr. Pacifico Nohara, OSA, basilica rector.
“[Jesus] has assured us that He is always present; He is with us and among us,” the bishop declared, when asked about the core of the theme for Catholic Year 2018. He also added that the Lord’s presence remains with his people through the consecrated persons, who continue to preach the gospel of love.
With the huge number of people who joined the solemn procession, Bishop Du wishes to remind the Cebuanos that now is the time when we need to unite the most. Like a child, we must humble ourselves and lead our lives in an effort to be closer to God through Sñr. Sto. Niño.
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