Jan. 15, 2017 (3rd Sunday of January)
FEAST OF SANTO NIÑO or THE HOLY CHILD JESUS
(PHILIPPINES). SANTO NIÑO SUNDAY.
On Jan. 15, as the feast of Santo Niño is celebrated in my native land, I thank God for bringing the faith to the Philippines through the heroic efforts of the Spaniards and through the omnipotence of the Holy Infant Jesus who with his humility and simplicity conquered the hearts of the Filipinos.
The evangelization in the Philippines was carried out with success through the devotion of the Filipinos to Santo Niño of Cebú, a statue of the infant Child Jesus, the oldest religious Christian image in the Philippines, which was originally given in 1521 as a baptismal gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan via Antonio Pigafetta, who physically handed it to Lady Humamay, the chief consort of Rajah Humabon, along with a statue of the Virgin Mary and the bust of the Ecce Homo.
Pope Francis said in his homily before 6 million Filipinos gathered at the Luneta Park on January 18, 2015 (Santo Niño day in the Philippines):
“It is a special joy for me to celebrate Santo Niño Sunday with you. The image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning. Dressed in the robes of a king, crowned and holding the sceptre, the globe and the cross, he continues to remind us of the link between God’s Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood. He tells us this in today’s Gospel: “WHOEVER DOES NOT ACCEPT THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE A CHILD WILL NOT ENTER IT” (Mk 10:15). The Santo Niño continues to proclaim to us that the light of God’s grace has shone upon a world dwelling in darkness. It brings the Good News of our freedom from slavery, and guides us in the paths of peace, right and justice. The Santo Niño also reminds us of our call to spread the reign of Christ throughout the world.”
In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: “We are all God’s children”. That is what the Santo Niño tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family. Today Saint Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. This is who we are. This is our identity.”
Dear friends and fellow Filipinos, let us see ourselves and behave with simplicity and humility, as little children before God, because that is who we are. Let us cherish our identity as God’s children, imitating the Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ in everything, for holiness consists in this: “the fullness of our divine filiation (St. Josemaria).” Let us all together pray:
“Father in heaven, may we recognize your only Son as God even in the lowliness of his human nature and adore him as our mighty Lord even in the frailty of his childhood. May we follow him with sincere hearts. Help us to welcome his kingdom among us with the eagerness of a child and to receive the reward promised to the humble (Opening prayer, Mass of the Feast).”
HAPPY FEAST DAY OF SANTO NIÑO TO ALL, ESPECIALLY TO MY FELLOW FILIPINOS!
MAY HE BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WITH ABUNDANCE!
SEE AS WELL: PRAYER TO SANTO NIÑO IN http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-1Uc
Cordially inviting you to visit and like our FB page in www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness so we can have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks! Fr. Rolly A.
PHOTO SOURCE:https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6103/6381910981_f6dc3de91e_b.jpg (backrground removed, glow added).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE HISTORY OF SANTO NIÑO DE CEBU, SEE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santo_Ni%C3%B1o_de_Ceb%C3%BA
POPE FRANCIS’ HOMILY OF THE FEAST OF SANTO NIÑO 2015 inhttp://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/homilies/1995/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19950115_manila-gmg.html