►2021 will mark the fifth centenary or 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
The Jubilee Year is considered significant for the Catholic faithful, especially to the Cebuanos, since history has it that Christianity first took root in the shores of Cebu in 1521. Christian faith was then propagated to other islands in the country and is continuing to flourish until today.
Cebu, a Bastion of Christianity
The oldest and most popular Santo Niño image is the Santo Niño of Cebu –which was brought from Spain by the sojourner Ferdinand Magellan (Fernando Magallanes). That image is particularly revered by Cebuanos, people from the region in and around the city of Cebu, where the Spaniards set up the first colonial capital. But the devotion to Santo Niño of Cebu has spread beyond that region, and images of it are a common sight in home altars around the country and in the Filipino diaspora.
Cebu is recognized as the “cradle of Christian civilization” with the most number of Catholics, seminarians, and priests and its Archdiocese is considered as the largest in the country.
In the year 2021, Cebu will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Christianization of the Philippines.#
Dr. ERNESTO DE PEDRO