Sto. Nino Minor Basilica


Stories of the Miracles of the Señor Santo Niño spread like wildfire in the Seas, placing Cebu as the Cradle of the Santo Niño devotion in the Philippines. His devotion spanned to the nearby island-provinces of the Visayas, then advanced to the north to as far as the Ilocandia and reached down south in Mindanao.

The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño built on the very same spot where the image was found on April 28, 1565, housed the statuette of the Santo Niño. Originally made out of bamboo and mangrove palm, the Santo Niño Church developed into a fortress where ardent devotees from all walks converge for thanksgiving or supplication to the Child Jesus, whom they have venerated through the centuries. With the increasing number of devotees flocking the Church of Santo Niño, Pope Paul VI elevated its rank as minor basilica with all rights and privileges accruing to such conferment for the Quadricentennial celebration of Christianity in the Philippines

Many years later in 1565, Juan de Camus, a mariner of the second generation of Spanish Colonial campaign under Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi found inside a pine box an unscathed Image of the Santo Niño. The adorable image believed to be of Belgian origin stands roughly at 30.48cm tall, wearing a loose velvet vestment, a gilded neck chain and a woolen red hood. It is carved from wood and coated with paint. The image holds a golden ball, a replica of the world in the left hand, and the right hand is slightly raised as a gesture of blessing.

Presently, the image is dressed like a royalty with its ornate decorations, including a sash adorned with old Castilian coins and a Toison de Oro (Golden Fleece) with a ram pendant reputedly given by King Charles III in the 17th century, the image now stands in grandeur that continues to captivate the hearts and souls of his fervent devotees.

Numerous miracles have been wrought by the power of the Santo Niño. It is said that a voluminous book is needed to contain all the attestations and testimonials of the goodness and mercy of the Infant Jesus of Cebu. Considered as the prime of all Christian relics in the Philippi
nes, the image of the Infant Jesus continues to shine as the lodestar that attracts the hearts of the Filipino people.

As earlier authenticated entry in the Journal of Pigafetta, clerk in the Magellan expedition, explains the origin of Santo Nino: "On the day Queen Juana was baptized by Father Pedro Valderama, chaplain of that expedition, Pigaffeta himself presented her with the Image." The same Image now lies in the Basilica del Santo Nino and become a favorite destination for millions of pilgrims each year. For four and half centuries now, the Image of Santo Nino continues to make wonders in the lives of many Filipinos. On the third Sunday of each year, in Cebu, millions flock to the streets for a colorful festivity, honoring and placing the Island and the entire Philippines under His Patronage.

During the last World War, a bomb fell inside the Church but the Image was recovered unscathed. It was one of the numerous miracles and powers attributed to the Holy Image.
In 1965 the historic Santo Nino Church was renovated for the observance of the Fourth Centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines held in Cebu City. It was during the centennial celebration that the Sacred Congregation of Rites elevated the Santo Nino Church to the rank of Basilica Minore with all the rights and privileges accruing to such title .

A Tale Of The Santo Nino

It is told that when, in the days of Legaspi, the capital was moved from Cebu to Manila, the authorities decreed that the image of the Sto. Nino should also be moved to the new capital.

So, the image was crated and shipped to manila, but the crate arrived there empty. The image miraculously disappeared, reappearing in its shrine in Cebu. It was recreated, and the crate placed inside another box, and then shipped to manila. Again, the boxes arrived in Manila empty. The image was crated a third time, and the crate placed not in one but in two boxes - but in vain. The Santo Nino was back in Cebu.

Eventually, the shippers sent the image out in a series of Chinese boxes, one inside another, with the seventh and inner-most box containing the image. In this manner, the image arrived in Manila and was enthroned in the Augustinian church of the capital city. The image, however, kept disappearing from the Augustinian church and reappearing in its shrine in Cebu. And so, it is told, the Manila Augustinians decided to cut off one of the Holy Child’s legs to stop it from escaping and returning to Cebu. This proved of no avail. The Santo Nino still kept on returning to Cebu

Manila finally gave up and Cebu kept its little Lord. Today, it is said, one can still notice how unevenly the Santo Nino stands. It is a sign of how, at one time, it had been amputated to keep it from returning to its beloved home.

pipe organ

In other versions of this story, the image was shipped not to Manila but to Spain. Whatever the version, however, it is a story told to show how intimately wedded to each other Cebu and the Santo Nino have become.

IMAGE OF SANTO NIÑO -. At present, the miraculous image is kept in the parish convent, and a replica is adorned with gold and precious stones and enshrined in glass. It is housed in a side altar inside the Basilica Minor del Santo Niño.

 I saw people lining on the convent hallway and asked them what are they lining for. A young woman told me that it's the line going to the enshrined Image of Sto. Nino, I then decided to join the line.

I took these photos while i'm on the line ,these were displayed in the walls along the hallway

The  convent also has this cute garden nestled in between with the Basilica.

Infront of the basilica is a open space quadrangle where they held the Holy Mass

 this is to accomodate more church goers especially during festivities. There are so many people here it feels like fiesta.

Near the  gate, you'll find the candle stands.. Like I always do when I'm  in the church, I offered candles.

I observed that most people if not all , waved their hands, I was so curious why they do that. They told me that they waved to the Sto. NIno to say goodbye to HIm. They do this because Sto. Nino might get offended. And it is believed to that by waving,  you will surely be back again. So I also waved to Him though I was already inside the car...oops sorry I didn't know it but at least I did.. (hahaha!)

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