Feast of Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu starts with fluvial parade
Cebu City, Philippines—Thousands of devotees on Saturday started the feast of the Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu with a colorful fluvial parade at the Mactan Channel.
Dozens of boats, barges and cruise ships, packed with devotees, escorted the MV Santo Niño de Cebu carrying an image of the Holy Child Jesus that was blessed by Blessed John Paul II.
Also in the main vessel was an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Cebu. The procession started about 7 a.m. from the Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City and ended 9 a.m. at Pier 1 in the city port.
Thousands more watched the procession from the shore or from ships in the docks. They waved and honked horns in salute as the image of the Santo Niño passed them by. Some set off firecrackers. There were also dance contingents in costumes paying homage to the Sto. Niño.
The vessel with images of the Sto Niño and Virgin Mary were escorted by the clergy and several men dressed as Spanish sailors. A foot procession started upon the arrival of the two images at the Cebu port area.
It proceeded to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño for the Mass that featured a reenactment of the first Mass and baptism in Cebu in 1521. On that occasion, the original images of the Sto. Niño and Virgin Mary were given by Ferdinand Magellan and Augustinian missionaries to Cebu’s King Humabon and Queen Humahay, who were christened Carlo and Juana.
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