Miraculous Sto. Niño dela Providencia-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Saturday, January 28, 2012
IT WAS some years ago when the image of the Miraculous Sto. Niño dela Providencia was brought to the Carmel Chapel here in Bacolod City. I had the chance to interview Lorna Gonzales, the caretaker of the Niño and from then on, I have been drawn to Him who celebrates His feast every January 27.
This year will be the 20th anniversary of the Sto. Niño de Providencia which is His home in #65 Aurora Pijuan St. in BF Resort Village, Las Piñas.
How did this small statue of the Sto. Niño, bought in Tayuman in 1985 by Corazon Gonzales, got the name Miraculous Sto. Niño dela Providencia by Msgr. Josefino Ramirez in June of 1992?
Lorna’s narration starts with her brother Rodolfo ‘Bhoy’ Gonzales. It was Good Friday evening when Bhoy, a medical intern, was struck on the head by what seemed to be a steel bar near the Labor Hospital in Quezon City. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors tried to save his life. He survived the attack but was in a coma. After six months in the hospital, the neurosurgeon advised Bhoy’s mother Corazon “Tia Azon” to bring the patient home, as there was nothing more they could do for him.
In January 27, 1992, the two-feet statue of the Sto. Niño was placed in the living room of their house so they could pray day and night for the healing of Bhoy.
Lorna continues her story stating: “At around 10 in the morning, I saw our whole sala flooded with a very sweet smelling and sticky liquid. I saw the eyes of the image oozing liquid profusely flowing down his chubby cheeks. I scooped the oil and applied it on the body, head and face of my brother over and over again. With that Holy Oil, my brother started to recover gradually.”
“The St. Pius X nuns who live in Philamlife Village were asked to help put things in order. They wiped the floor and later wiped the sick with the towels they used. Healing took place. Shortly thereafter, nuns and priests of different congregations came to pay homage to Him. Endless devotees started to pour in every day.
For this reason, we had to construct a small Prayer Room to be able to accommodate devotees coming from all over the country. Soon devotees from foreign countries started to visit Him. Because of the flow of devotees, we had to construct a small Prayer Room to be able to accommodate devotees coming from all over the country,” Lorna narrated.
Since many miracles were recorded from the oil that came from the Niño, Msgr. Josefino Ramirez named the icon “Miraculous Infant Jesus de Providencia.” He blessed the Holy Family Prayer Room on June 16, 1992.
For this year’s celebration, from Bacolod City where there are many miracles reported, Lenny Montinola and the Carmelite nuns came to pay homage to the Niño. There were thousands who participated in this year’s celebration. There was a procession and a healing mass.
In one of my visits to Lorna, she gave a small replica of the icon. Then I wanted a bigger image slightly smaller to the original image and this year, it has a prominent place in my home and I truly believe that there are more miracles coming into our lives with the help of the Miraculous Sto. Niño dela Providencia.
When I was going through the preparations of this year’s celebration, I saw the name of a friend who prefers anonymity as a devotee. Asking her if indeed she is the one, she replied yes and she has stories to tell me about Sto. Niño.
Excitedly we made a date to exchange stories. She was also drawn to the Niño by the Carmelite nuns. On one occasion, during her visit to the Prayer Chapel in Las Piñas, she saw the Niño smiling and this really amazed her. She felt she wasn’t worthy of this privilege. A photo shows Him practically chinky-eyed from His smile.
Anyway, Lorna gifted her with the cloak of the Niño which she brought with her to North America. Niño changes His wardrobes periodically, especially when drenched with oil. She arranged an enthronement of the robe with some friends in her apartment. The cloak was wrapped in a plastic bag and when they opened it, the oil started dripping out that they took their handkerchiefs to wipe the oil. They were able to purchase a transparent jar which could fit the cloak. They placed cotton inside the cloak and the oil has stopped dripping from the cloak. This incident happened in 2002 and up to 2006, the fragrance of the oil and the dripping has not ceased.
Those who took part in this enthronement reported many miracles. Even one who brought the oil to Austria narrated that the granddaughter of this lady was suffering from a very bad cough and she suaved her neck with the oil. After some time, her cough was gone but they noticed that her throat had a red pigmentation in the sign of a cross.
The miracles of healing spread far and wide and her apartment and my friend’s apartment became a visiting place of devotees who had petitions and appeals for the Sto. Niño dela Providencia.
They were not only Catholics but of varied religions and different races. They would write their pleadings in their native tongues and place these at the foot of the jar. There were even Muslims and members of Zoroaster religion and an Iraqi whose child had a disease that they did not identify. These stories are just a few of the great wonders that the Sto. Niño dela Providencia has done.
In a telephone conversation with Lorna the other day, she told me that our senators have visited the Prayer Chapel, invoking Niño’s help especially now in these troubled times.
Indeed, who is not wanting in God’s providence? We are completely nothing if we do not invoke God’s love, mercy and providence. However, if we walk in faith, in hope and, most especially in love, the Lord will not frustrate us but will prosper us!
January is the month of the Sto. Niño. Weekly there are celebrations in His honor. But let not our devotion be a fleeting celebration. We must hold the Christ Child tightly in our hearts. In Him, we find gentleness, consolation, succor, answers and much love! I LOVE YOU, STO. NIÑO DELA PROVIDENCIA!!!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 28, 2012.