In Oslob town in the central Philippine province of Cebu, the faithful held a religious procession to welcome the 2021 Jubilee Cross and the pilgrim image of Señor Santo Niño, or the Holy Child Jesus of Cebu, on March 18.
The pilgrimage was part of preparations for the 500th anniversary celebrations of the arrival of Christianity in the country.
It was also “a manifestation of people’s faith” amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country.
Due to government restrictions of the movement of people, the pilgrimage had to temporarily stop at the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Oslob before returning to the city of Cebu.
The pilgrimage was supposed to move to the main island of Luzon and back to Cebu by April 2021 for the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the image of the Holy Child.
Everything, however, has been put on hold.
Text continues after the photo gallery.
All photos by Victor Kintanar.
Father Jonard Concha, parish priest of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, said he is “very happy and thankful” that the image of the Child Jesus reached his parish.
“This is the last gathering in this church as there will be no more Masses,” he said, following announcements that mass gatherings are prohibited by the government.
“Although it is painful that we will not see each other, we also need to protect our body to also take care of the soul,” he told his parishioners.
Hermenegilda Cuerpo, an 81-year-old widow, waited on the street to welcome the Jubilee Cross and the image of the Holy Child. She said God will hear the people’s prayers.
Julita Dumayhag, 17, and her sister, Hilda, 18, both members of the Parish Youth Coordinating Council, said “God will drive the virus away,” adding that: “The Lord is stronger than the virus. He will secure us.”