Dramatic and quiet-A A +A
Saturday, January 11, 2014
CAN we recognize quiet miracles in our lives?
While out taking quick coffee in a mall resto waiting for friends, I listened to people talking in the next table about answers to their prayers as the days move on up to the feast of the Señor Sto. Niño on the third Sunday this month. Referring to their faith in the Child Jesus, one of them said the holy icon always looks after his family. “Gihatag sa Santo Niño ang akong gipangayo, buotan gyud siya! Duna ko’y balay sa Pag-ibig housing sa Mactan! Wa na ko mag-abang!”
Few know about this story in his private, personal life. Not even anyone collecting miracle stories of the Holy Child.
And generally this isn’t called a miracle, not as much as stories of the Child image turning a head, changing position, or refusing to be moved to Manila from his home in Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño by re-appearing in his old glass house in Cebu.
The miracles of the Sto. Niño are what make the fiesta procession and the Sinulog parade a great event celebrated by the whole town in big passionate crowds. There’s the story of a 60-year-old woman with tumor in the uterus who walked on her knees in the Basilica del Sto. Niño to pray for healing because she didn’t have the money for an operation. When she arrived home from her visit to the Holy Icon, blood dripped out of her, then it stopped, and she was cured.
A 7-year-old boy with a bloated stomach walked on his knees in the Basilica to the Holy Child icon with his mother and the mother says the boy’s stomach just “deflated like an airless balloon.”
A young wife was diagnosed to have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or low fertility, and would hardly have any chance to have a baby. But in her avid prayers for a miracle in her lifetime, she gave birth twice, the children now growing up in the faith of the Holy Child, lovingly calling the icon “Dodong.”
A woman was near death when her house burned down in 1989 as she rushed down a ladder holding an icon of the Sto. Niño. She fell some eight meters down miraculously unharmed.
The Holy Child image in history is said to have been given as a gift by explorer Ferdinand Magellan, leading a Spanish expedition, to Queen Juana (Humamay), the wife of the island’s native leader Rajah Humabon, during the baptism of the natives into the Catholic faith in 1521.
Faith in the Child among the natives starts with the story of one miracle inspiring the new believers to have faith in God, a way of praying which has come to our time in the form of the prayer dance. Humabon's wife was sick at one time and the natives looking after her danced around their queen holding the Niño icon above them, praying. And she was healed even as the first church, where the Niño would stay, was built.
It has been centuries from there and the feast of the Holy Child prevails.
Of modern miracles, the news in 2010 of 33 miners in Chile who were rescued after 69 days of being trapped underground when the mine collapsed, is a miracle as much as the case of one being able to get a cab ride late in the night and be home safe in just a few hours before super typhoon Yolanda crashed into our lives with power winds.
We can see miracles as two types—dramatic events and the quiet, unexplainable ones. How many people of faith have personal stories of God’s miracles in their lives?
According to the New Testament, there are 37 miracles of Jesus, the most memorable among them include Jesus walking on water, calming a storm, feeding the multitude with a few loaves of bread and two fishes, raising Lazarus from the dead. This, not to mention all the healing miracles Jesus made during his time on earth.
But miracles in each of our lives do happen, most of them in quiet ways; it is for us to recognize them and find what the message God is sending.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2014.