Church to mark ‘Kaplag’ at Basilica today
THE Catholic Church in Cebu will celebrate today the 450th anniversary of the discovery of the image of the Sto. Niño — the oldest religious icon and the symbol of Catholicism in the country.
The event will be highlighted by a Eucharistic celebration to be held at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño’s Pilgrim Center at 5:30 p.m. Winners of Wednesday’s Huniño or songwriting contest will render their pieces during the Mass.
At 1 p.m. today, the pilgrim image of the Sto. Niño will be brought back to the Basilica from the Birhen sa Lindogon Church in Sibonga town, northern Cebu.
The image was first brought to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center last Monday and was transferred to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral before visiting the San Nicolas Church in Cebu City.
As part of the Kaplag celebration, the icon was transported to Simala, Sibonga, and will return to the Basilica today.
“Kaplag” recalls the discovery of the Sto. Niño icon by Spanish soldier Juan Camus on April 28, 1565.
He found the icon in the remains of a burned nipa hut after Spanish forces set the village on fire.
Camus was part of the Spanish expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi to reclaim the islands after Magellan’s first visit in 1521.
The original image of the Holy Child Jesus is housed in a glass-enclosed marble aedicula beside the main altar of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
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