Search for Jesus marks ‘history’ of Catholic faith
CEBU’s Catholic faithful were called on to continue “searching for Jesus” as the Church celebrated the 453rd Kaplag or the search for the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu.
In his homily, Fr. Sesenio Paderog, vicar provincial of the Augustinian Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu, reminded the faithful that the search for the Sto. Niño marked the “history of their faith.”
Paderog presided over a Mass at the outdoor Pilgrim Center to commemorate the event which was concelebrated by 30 priests.
“The finding of the image has long been done but it doesn’t mean for us to stop finding him,” he said.
Paderog also challenged the people to change their lives for the better and to be good towards others as a sign that Jesus is present in everyone.
Hundreds of devotees waved their hands as the ancient prayer hymn Bato Balani sa Gugma (Magnet of Love) was sung during the Mass. “Kaplag,” is a Cebuano term which means “finding” or “discovery.”
The Kaplag celebration recalls the historic discovery of the Sto. Niño image by Spanish soldier Juan Camus on April 28, 1565. He found it in a burned nipa hut after Spanish forces set fire to the village.
Camus was part of the Spanish expedition led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi to reclaim the islands after explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s first visit in 1521.
The original Sto. Niño is currently housed in a marble chapel beside the main altar of the basilica.
This is the same icon that Magellan gave as baptismal gift to Queen Juana of Cebu in 1521. /CNU Interns Alexandra Mae Bustamante and Maejane Dungog
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