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Backpacks not allowed in Cebu’s Santo Niño basilica on November 13

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | October 29,2019 - 02:37 PM

Backpacks are not allowed inside Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu on November 13 as the church launches the 500th anniversary celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. | CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Carrying of backpacks will be prohibited inside the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu on November 13, 2019 as the church launches the quincentennial celebration of the arrival of the image of the Holy Child in Cebu.

The no-backpack policy was announced through the “Santo Niño at 500” official Facebook page.

The backpack ban will start at noon on November 13 until the end of the launching program.

The launching event will mark the start of the activities leading to the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, which falls in the year 2021.

Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, will lead the launching program alongside Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

This is Archbishop Caccia’s third time to visit the basilica following the 2018 Fiesta Señor and the National Youth Day in April 2019.

The launching ceremony of the quincentennial anniversary will kick off at 3 p.m. on November 13 with a conference on the devotion of the people to the image of Señor Santo Niño since its arrival in 1521 until the present time.

The conference is free for all and will start accepting participants at 2 p.m. of the said date.

There will be a Holy Mass at 4 p.m.

The official logo of the 500th anniversary celebration will be unveiled to the public after the Holy Mass.

A concert featuring the University of San Agustin’s Coro Liturgico Agustino and the Troubadors and the Coro del Sto. Niño de Cebu will cap the launching activities alongside the awarding of the winner for the quincentennial anniversary logo-making contest.

The concert will start at 7 p.m.

The series of activities on November 13  is led by the friars of the Order of Saint Augustine. The official launching ceremony is also done alongside the 1665th birthday of Saint Augustine de Hippo.

The official Facebook page also announced that the Basilica gates will be closed for security clearing at 11 a.m.

The gates will be officially opened at noon on November 13.

Historical accounts say the image of Señor Santo Niño is the oldest Catholic relic in the country. It was brought by Ferdinand Magellan and was gifted to the newly-baptized Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon in 1521.

During the return of the Spaniards under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565, the image was discovered and was turned over to the Augustinian friars who participated in the expedition. / celr

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