Filipinos’ devotion to the Sto. Niño continues to flourish, even in this day when faith and religion are deemed antiquated in other parts of the world. The Sinulog festival in Cebu is a testament to this – more so now with the digital age presenting more ways of practicing the devotion, thus bringing generations together in honoring the Christ Child.
With technology, younger generations and devotees based abroad are encouraged to participate in the Sinulog festival. For instance, they read posts on the Facebook page of the Basilica del Sto. Niño, and they can livestream the Mass.
Certain aspects of the Sto. Niño devotion still need to be refined, notes the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on its website, “but we cannot deny that this devotion has helped us greatly” amid the challenges of a changing world.
As one devotee says, “people pray for their families, their health, their jobs…for bountiful harvests, for success in their endeavors, or simply to give thanks on their birthdays and wedding anniversaries.” Now Victoria Barlizo, 59, helps other devotees pray for the Senyor. “I’m happy to pray for them, with them, because I am able to pray for myself and my family, too.”
The bishops remind us that like the image of Christ as child and king, “we need to be like a child to attain our ultimate kingly goal of human maturity and Christian perfection.”