Novena leads to Santo Nino Mass, procession July 19

A Mass and procession in honor of Santo Nino de Cebu are planned for Saturday, July 19, at St. Joseph Church, 103 Richard Pryor Place, in Peoria. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

During the 5:30 p.m. Mass, all icons of the Infant Jesus will be blessed and then carried in procession with the Blessed Sacrament and the main Santo Nino de Cebu icon. The procession will end with Benediction.

In preparation for the celebration there will be a novena from Thursday, July 10, to Friday, July 18, with prayer at 6 p.m. each day. The services will be held in the Father Clair Bourdereaux Hall at Sacred Heart Church, 504 Fulton St., in Peoria.

The Santo Nino statue is thought to be a baptismal gift from Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana of the Philippines. It was buried in a Spanish chest in the fighting that eventually led to Magellan’s death at the hands of a chieftain, Lapu-Lapu, who did not want his people to be converted to Christ.

Recovered during an expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in 1564, the Santo Nino statue was taken to the Augustinian church in Cebu. It now rests in a basilica in that city.

Many Filipinos keep their own statues at home, turning the Infant Jesus toward the door to greet visitors.

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