Wednesday, January 21, 2015
1.8 Million Devotees Join Foot Procession for Senor Santo Nino
In a show of faith and reverence to the Holy Child Jesus, an estimated 1.8 million devotees of the Señor Sto. Niño in Cebu braved threats of a brewing storm to join the annual solemn foot procession of the miraculous image last Saturday afternoon.
“The activity proceeded smoothly, peacefully and orderly. It was very solemn,” said Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa, deputy regional director for operations and officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Police Office.
Capa said, though, that three people were arrested, including an American citizen for interrupting the religious gathering. Michael Bradley, 46, of Florida, USA and his wife Elcel Bradley,28, from Palawan with Rebecca Muñoz, 29 were arrested for trying to disturb the devotees at the procession route by their use of a megaphone.
The three were arrested for violating Article 132 and 133 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to offending religious feelings.
Fuente Police chief, Chief Inspector Wildemar Tiu said Bradley resisted arrest by invoking his freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
“Except for this minor incident, the procession proceeded, and turned out to be a successful event,” said Tiu.
The 6.1-kilometer foot procession ended earlier than expected.
According to Chief Inspector Enrique Belciña, the head of the procession reached the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño at 3:20 p.m. while the carroza carrying the image of the Holy Child entered the pilgrim center at 5 p.m., in time for the Pontifical Mass celebrated by Archbishop of Sorsogon, Msgr. Arturo Bastes.
In his homily, Bastes traced the beginnings of the arrival and discovery of the image of the Holy Child stressing on the significance of Cebu as the “Cradle of Christianity in Asia.”
“This is a great blessing for the Filipinos. We are all chosen by Jesus to become his disciples. Therefore, I urged the faithful to continue practicing the values of the Holy Child,” said Bastes.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s Sinulog Grand Parade was blessed with very fair weather with only light showers, giving more chance for spectators to witness the over 100 Sinulog contingents dance their way around the carousel route.
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