On October 12, 2023, Spain celebrated the Día de la Hispanidad (National Day of Spain), which commemorated its legacy worldwide. The occasion was made even more remarkable by a significant act of giving from the Basilica Minore de Santo Niño de Cebu (BMSN).
In a heartwarming display of gratitude, the Basilica presented to the Parish of St. Augustine in Valladolid, Spain a replica of the Santo Niño image— a cherished symbol of the Christian faith.
The presentation of the image was made by the Basilica Rector, Fr. Nelson Zerda, OSA, and was received by Fr. Antonio Vaca, OSA, parish priest.
A Holy mass was then celebrated presided over by Fr. Vaca.
Meanwhile, the momentous event was also witnessed by two more Filipino Augustinians under the Province of Santo Niño de Cebu- Philippines, Fr. Rommel Bongcac, OSA and Fr. Richard Bryan Mijares, OSA, who are currently taking their further studies in Spain.
The Filipino Augustinians entrusted with the care of the image are deeply grateful not only for this precious gift but also for the enduring gift of faith that the Filipino people have embraced and nurtured to this very day.
This act of giving serves as a powerful testament to the unceasing connection between Spain and the Philippines— bound together by faith, history, and shared devotion to the Child Jesus.
The bestowing of the Santo Niño image holds immense historical and spiritual significance.
Historically, the Augustinian monastery, which is closely associated to the St. Augustine Parish, served as the headquarters for the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus— responsible for sending missionaries to the Philippines.
Over time, the parish has been overseen by the Valladolid Augustinian community— a group instrumental in the propagation of Christianity in the Philippines during the Spanish times.
Although officially designated as a parish in 1930, the church and monastery have been integral to the formation and sending of Augustinian missionaries to the Philippines.
The institution has trained more than 2,000 missionaries for foreign missions, including those assigned to China.