Sto. Niño devotees share their stories of miracle
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Sto. Niño devotees share their stories of miracle

DEVOTEES of Sto. Niño who like to participate in the Penitential Walk with Jesus have to walk for kilometers from Fuente Osmeña to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City.

Thousands of devotees undertake this journey, which signals the start of the Fiesta Señor, early in the morning, carrying with them images of the Holy Child along with their faith and individual stories of hopes and experiences they consider as miracles.

For some devotees, the penitential walk is a sacrifice they willingly make each year to reflect on their devotion and faith to the Holy Child.

Through the connection they have established, some devotees have experienced miracles—some more profound than others—and have developed a deeper bond with Sto. Niño.

Career success

Among the devotees who religiously join the Peninential Walk with Jesus is Primo Redoble, 60, from Lapu-Lapu City. The procession was canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It returned on Jan. 5, 2023.

Redoble started joining the procession in 1970. Initially, he considered joining the Fiesta Señor procession as part of his family obligations, accompanying his grandmother.

Over time, the tradition grew on him, leading him to actively participate in the Fiesta Señor celebration.

“As a family man, you need someone to help you with the things you have no control (over),” Redoble said in Cebuano.

Redoble attributes his career success to a miracle of Sto. Niño.

Before his retirement, he faced termination from his job at a construction firm after discovering an anomaly involving the employer’s family member.

Redoble said his strong faith helped him throughout the challenging time. Shortly after he was fired, he secured employment as a senior human resources manager at a mining firm, where he worked for six years before retiring.

“My career is a miracle. Being able to hop from one employer to the other despite the tight competition,” said Redoble.

Redoble added that his faith in the Sto. Niño was able to help with his feeling of helplessness that he had with his career as well as the challenges he faced in his workplace.

‘Simple and quick’ miracle

For others, like Robert Michael Lim, Sto. Niño’s miracles can come quickly.

Lim, a resident of Consolacion town, recalled a time when he went to the procession together with his grandmother in 2013.

After joining the Penitential Walk with Jesus that year, Lim and his grandmother needed to find transportation back to Consolacion.

He said upon reaching SM City Cebu in Barangay Mabolo, they awaited a jeepney that was headed towards Consolacion. However, due to heavy rain, they had to walk towards Juan Luna Ave. Ext. and cross the road every five minutes just to catch a ride.

Lim said his grandmother prayed to the Sto. Niño, saying she was already old and that her knees were already hurting.

After a few minutes, the rain stopped, and a vacant jeepney arrived.

Lim considered the experience a miracle.

‘Safe passage’

For others, the miracle they received from Sto. Niño can come in the form of answering prayers and safe passage.

Sarlita Montes Uriarte, a resident outside Cebu Province, gave birth on the eve of the Fiesta Señor on Jan. 18, 1997. She recalled praying to Sto. Niño for a healthy child.

Her water broke on that day, and she had to walk from Colon to the hospital due to the lack of available vehicles.

Despite the challenges, Uriarte safely arrived at Cebu Doctors’ University in uptown Cebu City, where she gave birth to her son, affectionately nicknamed Onin—a reverse spelling of the word Niño. (RJM)

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