As we celebrate today the 500th year commemoration of the first baptism in Cebu and the gifting of the image of the Santo Niño to the Queen Juana, we enjoin you brothers to continue our efforts for individual and communal renewal. Our Augustinian forefathers started the formal evangelization in our land with such missionary zeal inspired by the miraculous finding of the image of the Santo Niño forty-four years after that historic gifting. As we look back also to the history of our Order, those first Augustinian missionaries were, of course, products of the Catholic reforms of the time and were therefore filled with spiritual vitality and evangelistic zeal. Let us allow the promptings of the Spirit to lead us toward the future of our continuing work for the salvation of the world and the building up of the Church. Let this year be not just a time to look back but also to look forward to the next years of bringing God to other people with that missionary zeal that cemented the legacy of our Augustinian forefathers.
In order to extend the celebration of this great milestone to our communities and institutions, may we request you to:
- Insert the Prayer for the 500th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Santo Niño image in Cebu either after Community Lauds or Vespers, before or after the celebration of the Holy Mass in our parishes and other institutions until Kaplag celebration on April 28, 2021. A copy of the prayer card is attached to this communication.
- Utilize the official theme song of the Santo Niño at 500 celebrations during Holy Masses in our parishes and other institutions. The song was a collaborative work of Fr. Vicente F. Amplayo, OSA, Mr. Beny Fruto Castillon and Mr. Bimbo Alojado Muyuela. Please check the attached choral piece.
- Other local initiatives such as free mass Baptisms in our parishes and other activities related to the celebration of this quincentennial are highly encouraged.
May our celebrations today help to deepen our devotion and enliven our faith to our beloved Señor Santo Niño de Cebu. May the Lord continue to bless our Province.