Child of Cebu

Recently, I was asked to do an article on the Santo Niño. I am about to be finished with the research on the subject and will soon post it.

On the 20th of March 2010, His Eminence, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, DD, Metropolitan Archbishop of Cebu, commemorated the first year anniversary of the blessing of Señor Santo Niño de Cebu on the grounds of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

The Santo Niño was long considered to be the patron “saint” of Cebu. However, the Santo Niño is a representation of Jesus Christ as a child. The Catholic Church in the Philippines sets the Holy Child as an example of humility and as a celebration of the Incarnation. Many Cebuanos do not consider the Christmas Season over until the Feast of the Santo Niño.

With this in mind, in 2002, the Archbishop of Cebu, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, declared Jesus’ mother Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe to be the principal patroness of Cebu. This upset some Santo Niño devotees, who felt that the declaration “demoted” the Holy Child. However, the declaration is consistent with Catholic teaching requiring a patron saint be a human saint who has gone to his or her heavenly reward and who prays to God on behalf of the living, rather than a divine being himself.

Since the Holy Child is a representation of Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, he cannot, as God, be considered a patron. In that sense, Cardinal Vidal’s move was to actually install a patron saint for Cebu, when before there was none. He did not, however, abolish the feast or the traditional street celebrations.


Seems to me that I have heard that name, Vidal, somewhere...


elena maria vidal said...

Lovely post. I do not know if the Archbishop is a relative of mine since my Vidal relatives are from Barcelona but I guess anything in possible.

Brantigny said...

I appreciate the link to it from Fountain of Elias.