Longer but faster traslacion
CEBU CITY–Despite taking a longer route, the Traslacion motorcade that brought the images of the Señor Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe to Mandaue City on Friday arrived on time.
The sacred icons reached the National Shrine of St. Joseph at exactly 9 a.m., two hours after it left the basilica on board two separate pick up vehicles.
Fr. Ric Anthony Reyes, OSA, spokesperson of the basilica, said wider roads made for a smooth and orderly convoy that traversed a 10- kilometer route.
“We recognize the efforts of the organizing committee for the Traslacion. As it was in previous years, the size of the crowd only shows that the Sto. Niño continues to be the ‘Batobalani sa Gugma’ (Magnet of Love). He just never fails to capture our hearts,” he said.
At least 10,000 people, many of whom went out of their workplaces, waited by the roadside, waving their hands and holding flaglets, as the images of the Sto. Niño and the Virgn Mary passed by in the annual “traslacion” or ritual transfer.
The motorcade passed through D. Jakosalem Street, General Maxilom Avenue, Gorordo Avenue, Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Gov. Cuenco Avenue, A.S. Fortuna St. before going to the National Shrine of St. Joseph.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, his wife and Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña, and son Miguel, escorted the images from the basilica to the border of the cities of Cebu and Mandaue in Barangay Banilad where they were welcomed by officials of Mandaue City led by Mayor Luigi Quisumbing and Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna.
Residents set up mini altars of the Sto. Niño and other sacred images along the motorcade route while some children along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City danced the Sinulog.
At the Mandaue church, carillion bells pealed and devotees sang “Bato Balani sa Gugma (Magnet of Love)” while waving their hands in the air in unison when the images arrived.
Two groups welcomed the images with Sinulog dances outside the national shrine.
The image of the child Jesus was accompanied by Augustinian priests led by Fr. Pacifico “Jun” Nohara Jr., the rector of the Basilica del Sto. Niño; while the Our Lady of Guadalupe was escorted by Fr. Romeo “Dodong” Desuyo.
Msgr. Daniel Sanico, team moderator of the National Shrine of St. Joseph and vicar general of the Archdiocese of Cebu, greeted his counterparts before presiding over the welcome Mass at the jampacked church.
Good weather favored the Traslacion motorcade following incessant rains during the Walk with Mary procession on Friday dawn.
At least 90,000 people braved a chilly and wet dawn to join the Marian procession that brought image of the Our Lady of Guadalupe from his shrine in Barangay Guadalupe to the basilica.
The transfer to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City portrays a reunion of the Holy Family: the Child Jesus, his mother Mary, and foster father Joseph.
At 2 a.m. today, a send off Mass will be celebrated at the National Shrine of St. Joseph to be followed by a motorcade that will bring the images of the Sto. Niño and the Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Nuestra Señora de Regla National Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City for another Mass at 4 a.m.
Afterwards, the images will be brought to the Naval Forces Central port in Lapu-Lapu for the 6 a.m. fluvial procession that will bring them back to Cebu city.
After the sea procession, a reenactment of the first Mass, baptism, and wedding will be done at the basilica’s Pilgrim Center to be followed the grand procession of the Sto. Niño image along the main streets of Cebu City in the afternoon.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will preside over the 6 a.m. Pontifical Mass at the basilica on January 21, the feast of the Sto. Niño.
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