Exhibit of statues opens in Ayala-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
USING simple images of the Holy Infant Jesus is part of promoting devotion, said Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
The cardinal was referring to statues that are part of an exhibit at the Ayala Center Cebu, which opened last Friday.
Vidal was the guest of honor at the opening.
“These (statues) should promote devotion to the Sto. Niño and not just for display,” he said.
He said the exhibit does not have any ivory images, just wooden statues.
Aside from being expensive, he said having ivory images on display would have required additional security.
He did not say if the decision not to include ivory images had anything to do with the National Geographic article citing Cebu’s alleged link to the illegal ivory trade involving a former church official.
The statues on display include a Sto. Niño dela Justicia, which portrays the Holy Infant wearing eyeglasses, holding a gavel and a weighing scale to symbolize justice and the law profession.
Vidal owns one of the images on display, which he said was given to him by Augustinian friars after he attended his first Sinulog in Cebu more than three decades ago.
“It is the exact replica of the original Sto. Niño,” he said, referring to the statue given by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana, which is now on display inside a bulletproof case at the Basilica del Sto. Niño.
In a speech he delivered at the opening of the exhibit, the 81-year-old prelate lauded organizers for helping spread the devotion to the Holy Infant.
“When we spread the devotion, we are actually doing our task of bringing people closer to God. We draw others to him if first we are drawn ourselves. Therefore, this task is nothing but an act of faith,” he said.
“The Lord has presented a child as the model for one who enters the kingdom of heaven. This is because a child possesses a pure heart and bears no ill will against anyone, unless adults initiate him into the world of conflict and divisiveness,” he said.
Vidal said the exhibit is proof of the Cebuanos’ devotion to the Sto. Niño.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2013.