Reenactment of first mass, baptism, wedding attracts 6K devotees

AROUND 6,000 devotees watched the reenactment of the the first mass, the first baptism and the wedding ceremony of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño Church on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

Fr. John Ion Miranda, media liaison of the basilica, said the activity was one of the highlights of the annual Sinulog Festival.

In his homily before the reenactment, Rev. Fr. Nelson Zerda reminded the faithful, particularly those experiencing trials, that peace could only be attained with strong faith and prayers.

Zerda advised them not to rely on luck but to rely on the strength of their faith instead.

"Our life does not depend on luck. We live because of God's saving grace, God's saving power," he said.

He encouraged the faithful to have a positive outlook in life, draw strength in prayers and spare themselves from evil temptations.

"God did not promise us a rose garden or a life at ease of comfort, but He promised us that He will journey with us until the end of time," Zerda said.

During the reenactment of the introduction of Christianity to the archipelago in 1521, Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon welcomed the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and were baptized as Roman Catholics.

Magellan handed over the patron image of Sto Niño to the couple as a baptismal gift. Queen Juana rejoiced and danced with the image, which was said to be the first Sinulog dance.

Several dancers also performed, making an offering or “halad” to the Child Jesus. (HIC, PHOTO)