Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu urged devotees of the Santo Niño to mark its “feast” with prayers for recovery from the pandemic and from the devastation brought about by super typhoon “Odette.”
“Let us continue to support one another on our road to recovery from typhoon ‘Odette’ and COVID-19, in God’s grace,” said the prelate in a radio interview.
“Thank you for your devotion. Let us trust God despite [the pandemic],” he said, adding that may the devotion of the faithful inspires everyone to work together to the road of recovery.
There will be no face-to-face Masses, no street dancing, no traditional performances during the celebration on January 16.
City and Church officials earlier announced that “virtual live activities” will showcase interviews and videos of the “Sinulog,” the traditional dance performance in honor of the Child Jesus.
“Let us bear with the situation now. This whole activity is an expression of our faith in the Santo Niño. It is now more on recovery,” said Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama in a media interview.
At the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, only priests, acolytes, lectors, choir members, and church personnel are allowed inside the church during the celebration of the Masses.
Devotees were encouraged to join the novena and feast day Masses through the official Facebook page of the basilica and the social media accounts of various media outlets.
The original image of the Sto. Niño, which was given by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan as baptismal gift to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521, is located inside the basilica and will be off-limits to the public this year.