Oliver 12 0 0 5 min to read

Devotees of PH’s “first town” observe Sto. Nino Thanksgiving Mass.

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

On Monday, parishioners of the San Nicolas de Tolentino Shrine joined the followers of the Sto. Nino in celebrating a thanksgiving liturgy in the settlement once known as “el primer pueblo de Filipinas” or the first town in the Philippines during the Spanish era.


The 457-year-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino’s team moderator and diocesan priest Msgr. Rogelio Fuentes connected the origins of the Thanksgiving celebration to the interaction between the OSA friars and the inhabitants of the nation’s oldest pueblo.


The priests from our parish would be asked to lead the liturgy of thanksgiving well before the pandemic. How come? Perhaps it’s because the Basilica and San Nicolas Parish are so intertwined, Fuentes suggested in his homily.

He reminded the believers that San Nicolas was created in 1584 by Spanish Augustinian friars as the city’s original colony during the Spanish era and the island’s first parish.

As the founding parish, San Nicolas played a significant role in the establishment of important Cebu parishes such as Nuestra Senora Virgen de la Regla in Lapu-Lapu City (1711), San Francisco de Asis in Naga City (1829), Sta. Teresa de Avila in Talisay City (1836), Sto. Tomas de Villanueva in El Pardo, Cebu City (1933), Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu in Guad

Every Visperas Saturday during Fiesta Senior, the revered image of the “Sto. Nino de Teniente” from San Nicolas must come to the Basilica to serve as a guard for the duration of the solemn foot procession of the Sr.


Fuentes said that the Augustian friars have a practice of celebrating the festive concelebrated mass in honor of Our Lady of Consolacion, the second patron saint of the San Nicolas parish.

The parish priest in San Nicolas, the oldest of all the parishes in Cebu, led the holy mass in thanking God for the three graces – the grace of history, the grace of the celebration, and the graces that each one received from the Lord. Fuentes, who is also serving as the Archdiocese of Cebu’s vicar general, said he finds it appropriate.

As we recently celebrated the 500th anniversary of Christianity, he said in Cebuano, “In the grace of history, we have many things to thank about. Cebuanos are grateful to God for this grace. It is in our midst that the blessing of this Basilica and the image of the Sr. Sto. Nino gifted to Queen Juana on the occasion of the first baptism here in Cebu”


An article claims that Balaanong Bahandi, the chapel dedicated to St. Nicolas de Tolentino, an Italian saint, was once Cebu el Viejo, or “ancient Cebu,” dating back 439 years to the reign of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

The city of Villa San Miguel, built by the Spaniards nearby to the north, and Parian, where the Chinese resided and conducted business, were located farther apart.

Under the direction of Augustinian friar Ambrosio Otero, the San Nicolas church was constructed between 1787 and 1804. The parochial house and bell tower were erected in 1825 and 1812, respectively.

However, aerial bombing during World War II demolished the church structure.

The current church was started in 1942 and completed in 1965.

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

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