MESSAGE FROM THE RECTOR
OF THE BASILICA MINORE DEL STO. NIÑO DE CEBU
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the new and official website of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu. With the undeniably important role that the mass media play in the life of man today, it is but fitting that we avail of modern technology to reach out not only to the devotees of our beloved Sto. Niño, but also to the countless pilgrims and tourists who visit our church and the city of Cebu so as to give them information and updates on the line up of activities we prepare on various occasions at our Basilica.
The Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu has always been a part of the religious history of our country since the 16th century. From a small chapel made of native materials built by the early Augustinian missionaries who brought the image of the Sto. Niño to the Philippines in 1521 and, under the leadership of the Spanish friar Andres de Urdaneta, evangelized our forebears, the shrine of the oldest religious icon in the country has become a concrete structure lately elevated to the rank of a “minor basilica” by Pope Paul VI in 1965 on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines.
Today we witness an increase in the number of pilgrims, devotees and tourists who visit Cebu City and our Basilica throughout the year (particularly during the annual Sinulog festival in January), and we may ask ourselves what draws them to our island and to pay homage to our dear Señor Sto. Niño. Three things immediately come to my mind: first, the cross of Magellan found in a small kiosk right outside the compound of our basilica – a remnant of the first Mass celebrated in our land by the earliest Christian missionaries; second, the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu itself which is considered as the mother church of all Christian churches in the country; and, third, the miraculous image of the Holy Infant Jesus venerated therein, discovered unscathed hidden in a wooden box in a burnt down village in 1565 during the Spaniards’ fifth expedition to the Philippines.
A visit to Cebu and to our Basilica is like travelling back in time, returning to the very dawn of our Christian faith. Along the way one discovers a harmonious mingling of both local and European traditions, of faith and superstition, of historical facts and fiction, of glorious and humbling experiences, and so forth. The Augustinian friars are glad to be part of it all and proud of the role their religious Order has contributed to the history of our nation with its spirituality and intellectual heritage. In our own way and through the activities we organize at the Basilica Minore in honour of Señor Sto. Niño, we intend to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors in deepening our nation’s faith, religious experience and devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus.
We invite you to come and visit us one of these days here in Cebu City and to regularly check our official website to be abreast of our activities. May our beloved Señor Sto. Niño protect you and shower his abundant blessings upon you all!
Rev. Fr. Jonas M. Mejares, O.S.A.
Rector of the Basilica
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They belong to the religious order known as the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA). Founded in the Middle Ages, it traces its roots back to Saint Augustine of Hippo who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries (354-430 AD) and whom it considers its Spiritual Founder. Saint Augustine , aside from his numerous writings and profound theological insights which earned him the distinction as one of the greatest thinkers in the history of Christianity, has left behind the set of precepts that enshrines his ideal of life lived in common under evangelical inspiration. This set of precepts which now bears his name (the Rule of Saint Augustine) regulated the life of the religious in the communities he founded during his lifetime.
The juridical existence of the Order began in 1244 through the initiative of Pope Innocent IV who initially gathered together different
The church and convent erected by the Augustinian Fathers under the Rev. Andres Urdaneta in 1565 were the first established in the Philippines.
Both were burned down on November 1, 1566. The second church was likewise destroyed by fire in March of 1628, but rebuilt soon after (1628-1629) under the administration of the historian Rev. Juan de Medina, O.S.A. The present massive church was designed and constructed during the priorship of Rev. Juan Albarran, O.S.A., (1735-1737). The Santo Niño venerated in this church since the time of Legaspi, is the center of intense devotion and religious pilgrimages throughout the Visayas.
The history of the Augustinian Order in the Philippines is intimately connected with the history of the country. The Augustinians were the first missionaries ever to reach the Philippine shores. The conversion to the Catholic faith of the inhabitants of the islands of Cebu and Panay, of the provinces of Batangas, Pampanga, Tarlac, Mountain Province, La Union, llocos Norte and Sur, Abra, half of Rizal, Nueva Ecija and the greater part of Metro Manila is a living testimony of the zeal displayed by the Augustinians.
The Augustinians are also founders of different municipalities and builders of many churches, many of which still serve as houses of prayer and are historical monuments.
At present, they belong to the independent Province of Santo Nino de Cebu-Philippines, with twelve houses in their jurisdiction and are actively involved in education, parish administration, mission work and formation of candidates for religious life.
Moreover, the Province accepted the joint mission with the Australian Province in South Korea , with the Dutch Province in Indonesia , and with the Provinces of Villanova (USA), Ireland , England-Scotland in South Africa . In collaboration with the other Provinces of the Order, the Province also sends some friars to help in the apostolic and pastoral ministries.
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If you are willing to pursue the ideals of the Augustinian Religious way of life, then come and join us.
For more information, write, visit, or call your nearest Vocation Director:
Guadalupe Monastery 7440 Bernardino St ., Guadalupe Viejo, 1200 Makati City (02) 896-8977, 890-3140 Fax: (02) 899-5845
Basilica del Sto. Nino de Cebu Osmena Blvd., 6000 Cebu City P.O. Box 228 (032) 255-6697 to 99 Fax: (032) 254-0934
San Agustin Center of Studies/ St. Thomas of Villanova Institute
Fisheries St. , Visayas Ave. ,
Diliman, 1100 Quezon City
(02) 924-5001, 924-5002
Fax: (02) 924-0158
Colegio de San Agustin-Binan/ Santo Nino de Cebu Parish
Bo . Halang, Juana Complex
Binan, 4024 Laguna
Mother of Good Counsel Parish
14-L Santos Street , Chrysanthemum Village, San Pedro, 4023 Laguna
(02) 869-2781, 808-4603
Fax: (02) 808-0921
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish
Roman Catholic Convent
Socorro, 8416 Surigao del Norte
Santo Nino Pilgrim Center
Cor. Osmena Blvd. & P. Burgos St .Cebu City 6000 P.O Box 228
Fax: (032) 255-4498
Augustinian Novitiate & Prayer House
Lower Mohon ,Talisay City , 6045 Cebu
P.O. Box 37
Fax: (032) 273-4025
Santo Nino de Cebu Parish
Lower Mohon , Talisay City , 6045 Cebu
Fax: (032) 272-3522
University of San Agustin
Gen. Luna St. , 5000 lloilo City P.O. Box 461
(033) 337-4841 to 44, 336-8554, 336-2558
Fax: (033) 337-4403
San Jose Parish/San Jose Catholic School
001 San Jose de Calasanz St. , Plaza
Libertad, 5000 lloilo City
(033) 336-4802, 335-0384
Fax: (033) 337-5461
Colegio de San Agustin-Bacolod
Benigno S. Aquino Drive 6100
(034) 434-2471 to 74
Fax: (034) 433-9187
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