When it comes to faith, there’s just so much more to religion, and when it comes to visiting Cebu, there are just so much more than beautiful beaches and caves.
We all know Cebu as the home of beautiful beaches. Anywhere you go, you see the beauty of the water shining under the bright sun. People usually plan their vacation leaves or their get-away trips to visit any beach around Cebu. What people don’t know is that Cebu is also one of the best places to visit when it comes to historical places.
Aside from Intramuros where you can see old churches way back during Rizal’s time, Cebu has quite a list of historical churches since the time of the Spaniards. As a matter of fact, some of the churches built here were during the time of Ferdinand Magellan.
If you loved Intramuros, it’s without a doubt that you’ll also look forward to exploring Cebu’s old churches.
If you’re a devout Catholic and you had a chance to visit Cebu, one of the best places you may want to visit is the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu. Here’s a quick overview of the history of the so-called “Little Jesus” of Cebu.
Nippy Overview of the “Little Jesus” of Cebu
The little Santo Nino or Sto. Niño, also known as “Little Jesus,” is one of the most recognized and valued relics in the Philippines. One thing that makes it very historical and precious is the fact that this relic came from Ferdinand Magellan.
Ferdinand Magellan is the person who discovered the Philippines. He’s commonly known as the rival of the first Filipino Hero, Lapu-Lapu. However, some people valued him because he introduced Christianity to the country.
The relic was given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of the chieftain of Cebu named Hara Amihan as his gift. It’s known to be of Belgian origin, and it’s carved out of wood. The said relic was said to have been aboard Magellan’s ship all throughout his voyage as he discovered the country.
Aside from being ancient, the relic is also known to be mystifying. When Magellan died in 1521, it was believed that the relic of the Little Jesus disappeared. It was only found in 1565, and the place where it was discovered is where Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño was built. It is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.
The relic was also considered miraculous because the old church had been reduced to ashes twice. First during World War II, but miraculously, the relic was unscathed.
Now, people are celebrating the feast of Sto. Niño every second Sunday of January. Hence if you’re planning a nice get-away to Cebu around these times, you must see the old church and set a pilgrimage before you head off to the different beautiful beaches in the area.
How to Have a Significant Pilgrimage While in Cebu
Searching for “8 Things to know about novena to Sto Nino de Cebu”? Let me share with you some things you need to about the novena at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu.
If you’re about to visit the Basilica to see the Little Jesus for yourself, here are some ways on how you can have a meaningful pilgrimage at this ancient and historical church.
- Respect the Oldest Sacred Relic – If you want to see the image of the Little Jesus, it’s located in the chapel, beside the altar of the Basilica Minore. Since it’s very fragile, the last time it was taken outside for activity was way back in 1993. As a sign of great respect, you are advised to make an organized queue in silence, and you can also pray the Holy Rosary, just like what other devotees are doing.
- You Can Write Your Petitions – There are millions of visitors yearly to pray to the Little Jesus. It has been a tradition to write him a letter, so you can prepare yours, and you can drop it on a designated box.
- You Pray the Perpetual Novena – Praying the novena has been their devotion and it’s not only to ask something from Him. This is also a way on how you can strengthen your personal relationship with God.
- Seek The Help of Candle Vendors to Pray for You – As you buy a 10-peso worth of candle from women who are wearing red and yellow, you can say your prayers to them and ask them to pray for you while they dance the Sinulog dance. It’s going to be memorable because you’ll have someone to pray for you and you can also help in their livelihood.
- Lighting the Red Candles – If you prefer a private time as you say your prayers, you can visit the Dagkotan, their candle area, which is facing the Pilgrim Center’s altar. You have three steps to remember: Pick a candle, light it then pray. You don’t have to pay for any candle, but you can always donate.
- Stop-by to pray at the Magellan’s Cross – We all know Magellan’s Cross but what most people don’t know is that it was approved as a plenary indulgence by a bishop of Cebu named Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon in 1830. You must pray one each of Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory to the Father. These prayers are for the Holy Father in Rome.
- Find the Second Oldest Icon in the Philippines – There are numerous historical and ancient religious icons all over the country, but if you’re in Cebu, you’re lucky because you’ll have the chance to see the Ecce Homo, which is also referred to as “Behold the Man.” This icon is a bust of the Jesus Christ, which was found in 1572.
- Walk Around the Sto. Nino Museum – Aside from ancient relics, you can also pay a visit to the museum in the basement. The Sto. Nino Pilgrim Center holds a lot of religious treasures such as novena prayers, vestments, and pieces of jewelry that are from the 1600s. It’s the perfect place to stop by for souvenirs.
Visiting the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño will not give you a hard time or hassle because it’s an easy side-trip if you’re about to spend a vacation in Cebu. Make your visit to Cebu worthwhile. After all, who doesn’t want to see a piece of Magellan’s possession, right?
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