Cardinal John Dew shares a reflection on the celebration of Santo Niño Sunday.
Yesterday I was very happy to be part of the Filipino community’s celebration of Santo Niño Sunday, a significant and joyful event each year. The statue of Santo Niño, the Holy Child Jesus, was brought to the Philippines in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, and is the oldest Christian relic in the country. Santo Niño is known for miracles and for the devotion of Filipinos wherever they live in the world. People brought their own Santo Niño figures to yesterday’s Mass at St Peter and Paul’s church in Lower Hutt, where they were blessed as part of the celebration.
In the words of Pope Francis, when he celebrated the Santo Niño Mass in Manila in 2015: “The image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning… May he enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace. May the Santo Niño continue to bless the Philippines and to sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of he joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world”.