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News from Rockhampton

23 February, 2023

Filipinos Celebrate “Sinulog”, The Feast of Santo Niño

“Sinulog” (“water movement”) is the Filipino term given to the celebration of the Feast of the Child Jesus or Santo Niño, commemorating the introduction of Christianity to the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese navigator commissioned by then King Phillip of Spain. Magellan landed in the shores of Cebu in Central Visayas of the Philippine Archipelago on 21st March 1521. Cebu was then under the rule of Rajah Humabon, who along with his wife Hara Amihan and their subjects, agreed to be baptized and converted to the Christian Faith.

As a gift for the occasion, Ferdinand Magellan gave the couple the image of Santo Niño along with the Magellan Cross. These gifts became the symbol of Christianity and are still held and venerated at the Basilica Menor in Cebu City, Philippines. The Image of Santo Niño and the Magellan Cross are the oldest surviving Catholic relics in the Philippines.

The Statue is believed to have miraculous powers. The first being at the bombardment of Cebu during the Spanish expedition in 1565, the image of Sto Niño was found intact in a pine box. During World War II, the whole city of Cebu was again heavily bombarded and the Sto Niño church was reduced to rubble, but the image of Sto Niño was miraculously found unscathed, hidden in a vault. The metal vault still exists today. It is on display at the left side of the main entrance to the church that was later built on the spot where the Sto Niño was found.

Pope Paul VI elevated the Church to the status of Minor Basilica on its 400th anniversary.

The word “Sinulog” was derived from the Cebuano adverb “sulog” which roughly translates to “water movement.” Thus, devotees of the Santo Niño follow a certain step mimicking the water movement whilst carrying their own image of the Santo Niño. The simple dance movement reflects the enjoyment and pleasure of a child, as Santo Niño Devotees cheer “Viva Santo Niño!” (“Hail Santo Niño!”) and “Pit Señor!” (“Hear us Señor!”).

“Sinulog 2023” was celebrated at St Joseph’s Cathedral during the 9.30 Mass on Sunday, 15th January 2023. The Filipino Community in Rockhampton shared their faith rich in culture and tradition.

Mother Effect

A group of mothers have been getting creative to help teach their young children about the Saints.
Inspired by the Mother Effect National Peg Doll Exchange, mums from the Rockhampton group have been painting wooden peg dolls to look like different Saints. Each mum painted all their dolls as one Saint, then we gathered together to exchange our saints so we had a full set.

The kids love to play with the Saint dolls and we can learn about their stories as we play.
Mother Effect is passionate about activating the domestic church and helping mothers to live out missionary motherhood.
Any young families around the Rocky area are welcome to join. Contact Laura on 0434552280 for details.