Cebu News

Church in Cebu City secured after ‘miracle’

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Officials of Barangay San Nicolas in Cebu City are taking steps to secure the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish in case people would flock the church following a supposed miracle involving the image of the Virgin Mary.

The event reportedly occurred on May 20 shortly before the church streamed its early morning Mass.

The Mass was being broadcasted live as going to church physically is prohibited while the city is under enhanced community quarantine.

Michael Bacus, the parish’s sacristan mayor for the last five years, said that 20 minutes before broadcast, the technician called his attention because he reportedly saw a dark blue shadow on camera swirling slowly at the altar until it moved to the back of the image of the Virgin Mary. 

Bacus said he and the technician were “rattled” because they did not see in person what they saw on camera despite checking it four to five times.

“Nangaratol lagi ming duha kay four times, five times mi gasige’g tan-aw, wala man gyud mig nakita sa actual, pero sa video, naa gyuy nakita namo,” he said.

(The two of us were rattled because we checked four times, five times and we could not see in person what we saw on camera. We really saw it on camera.)

From behind the image of the Virgin Mary, the shadow then moved to the Paschal candle placed right beside the image and this was when Bacus said they decided to go live. Signal, however, did not cooperate and the shadow reportedly evaporated into the air, the live feed capturing only a portion of it.


San Nicolas Captain Clifford Jude Niñal who is active in church said he will “study” the video of the stream again but the shadow is reportedly visible there.

He said he could not help but feel goosebumps when he went to the church because the color of shadow reflected that of the cape on the Virgin Mary. He reportedly felt something different when he went near the image.

Granting that there was indeed a manifestation that day, Niñal said it could be that the Virgin Mary misses churchgoers, especially that the month of May is when the Flores de Mayo is observed.

The Flores de Mayor is a long time tradition in the Philippines wherein Catholics pay homage to the Virgin Mary by offering her flowers. The practice lasts for a month.

“Nagpahinomdom lang pud siguro ni siya’g manghatag tag flowers siguro. Tan-awn sa ni nato kay lisod kayo, gibawalan ang simbahan ba. Kung pwede lang gyud mi mu-offer ug flowers diri, wala lay touching ba. Basin iya ning message ba nga naa siya. Kung musugot lang ang city nga maka-offer ang mga tawo ug flowers, i-observe lang gihapon ang social distancing,” Niñal said.

(Maybe the Virgin Mary is just trying to remind us that she is just there and for us to offer flowers. We will study this because this is not allowed. Maybe the city can allow us to offer flowers without touching and still observing social distancing.)

Niñal said it is not difficult for him to believe Bacus because he himself reportedly dreamed of the image of Christ the King, which is also at the shrine, before he became barangay captain. 

He said he is willing to believe that the event was a sign for healing from COVID-19.

Bacus said they have already shown the video to Msgr. Rogelio Fuentes, the celebrant of the Mass that day, and the priest reportedly told them to embrace what they saw as it must have been meant to them to see.

“Gipakita namo ni Nyor ang nahitabo. Ingon siya namo nga as trabahante diri sa simbahan, gihatag gyud to namo. Kaning hitaboa ron, hundred percent para amo gyud to ingon siya. Kung wa pa lang gyud unta to ma-loading, makita gyud unta ang pagsaka niya,” Bacus said.

(We showed the video to monsignor and he told us that what happened must have been for us, workers of the church. He said what happened was 100 percent for us. If only the broadcast went live immediately, we could have captured the shadow moving up into the air.)

John Dave Lepatan who is into video production and editing told The Freeman that he himself had goosebumps watching the video, especially that the live feed could not have been altered.

He said is it unlikely that the church’s graphic artist would manipulate the feed and add effects to the live broadcast, but he will try to reproduce the material to validate his observations.  JMO (FREEMAN)

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