Filipinos take Holy Child to Dublin streets

Filipinos take Holy Child to Dublin streets

Hundreds of Filipinos from all across Ireland gathered in Dublin last week for the annual Santo Niño procession, with over 400 attending Mass in St Joseph’s Church on the city’s Berkeley Road afterwards.

“It’s a very big Filipino celebration,” Fr Martin McDonald OFM told The Irish Catholic, adding that this celebration of the Holy Infant was the 20th such procession by Dublin’s Filipino community.

“We’ve done this every year – it started in the year 2000,” Lorna Patindol, one of the procession’s lead co-ordinators, told this newspaper.

“It’s really the culmination of a long celebration. There was a novena Mass nine days earlier, and a children’s Mass, and an outdoor procession, Mrs Patindol said, explaining that various Filipino groups from across Ireland take part, including groups dedicated to St Michael, Our Lady of Knock, and Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

“Santo Niño is dedicated to the Holy Infant of Prague,” she said. “The devotion is all over the Philippines. The original statue was brought to the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Before then the Philippines were mostly Muslim, but after that the Rajahs – the chiefs – became Christian.”

Among the statues carried by the participants in the procession were ones of the earliest Filipino saints, St Pedro Colungsod and St Lorenzo Ruiz, both of which along with Santo Niño have shrines at St Joseph’s.