Annual Santo Niño Fiesta Celebration

The Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of San Francisco invites all parishes to participate in the celebration of the Santo Niño Fiesta scheduled to be held Saturday, January 15, 11:00 AM at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Father Arturo Albano, the Rector, and the Pastor of St. Mary’s Cathedral will be the main celebrant. Concelebrating with him are the priests in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Wearing of masks, along with other COVID-19 protocols, will be enforced for the safety of all participants.

The Santo Niño Fiesta celebration is a Filipino devotion honoring the Holy Child Jesus. This event is part of an ongoing commemoration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines. Although it was not declared a liturgical feast in the Church’s calendar, the cultural celebration is a time to reflect on how faith and culture intersect. The theme of the quincentennial commemoration is “Gifted to Give” and indeed, Filipinos in the United States and in other countries have shared the gift of faith with the world. In the words of Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Bishop William Justice, “The Filipinos, who have been in the Archdiocese of San Francisco for over a hundred years, have demonstrated vibrant expressions of faith in the life of the Church of San Francisco. They brought their devotions and religious-cultural celebrations, which is a rich resource in bringing the Gospel to the larger community of faithful.”

The quick acceptance of Christianity in the Philippines was credited to the holy image of the Santo Niño. Five centuries after Christianity was introduced in the Philippines, the religious image of the Holy Child Jesus or Santo Niño continues to unite Filipino Catholic communities around the world. Gifted to Queen Juana in 1521 by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan on the occasion of her baptism, the statue was rediscovered 44 years later, having survived a fire that burned down Cebú. The image is intact and is kept in the Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu. From generation to generation, the image of Santo Niño has been venerated and its Feast day in January is celebrated throughout the Philippines and in many parts of the world where Filipinos have migrated.

Click here to watch the video, “Quincentennial Journey of Faith,” presented during the “Journey of Faith Conference / 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines commemoration in July 2021.

Click on the image of Santo Niño to view photos from the Filipino Ministry’s Santo Niño Fiesta celebration at St. Augustine Church in South San Francisco.