THE rector of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño urged devotees on Thursday to become disciples of new evangelization by bringing the devotion of the Child Jesus to others.
Hundreds of devotees joined the first novena mass and the Walk with Jesus, which started at Fuente Osmena Circle early this morning.
In his homily during the first novena mass of the 453rd Fiesta Señor earlier today, Fr. Pacifico "Jun" Nohara Jr. said that following challenges of growing secularization, he urged devotees to remain true to their Christian faith through their devotion to the Santo Niño.
Nohara said Cebuanos are truly blessed that the original image of the Santo Niño, which was brought to the country on 1521, still remains in Cebu even now.
"How blessed we are that the original image of the Santo Niño, one of the oldest religious icons in the country, is here with us, is always with us, constantly guiding our ways," Nohara said.
He urged the devotees, including members of the clergy and the religious, to not allow the growing Christian faith in Cebu to stagnate.
"Dili nato pakatulgon ang gitisok nga pagtuo nga gihatag sa Santo Niño kanatong mga deboto," Nohara added.
An estimated crowd 80,000, including the people inside the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino, joined the Walk with Jesus and the first novena mass Thursday, according to the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
No untoward incident has so far been reported, said Police Chief Inspector Mandal Jacinto Jr., event commander of route security.