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Filipinos celebrate festival of Child Jesus

Thousands of worshipers joined a Catholic procession in Manila on Sunday (January 19) and paraded statues of the Child Jesus believed to grant miracles through the city. Wooden replicas of the Child Jesus, locally known as "Santo Nino", are revered by the devotees and paraded every third Sunday of January in remembrance of Jesus Christ's childhood. The original icon was brought by a Portuguese explorer who went to the Central Philippines in 1521 as a gift to the pagan-worshipping natives, which marked the country's conversion to Christianity. Replicas of the original statue are enshrined in various churches across the Philippines, each one having its own distinct celebration. Devotees from Tondo, a congested district in Manila, began the festivities with a morning mass headed by Cardinal Luis Tagle. A procession followed, with the crowd singing hymns and praying while carrying their own replicas of the Child Jesus statue along the procession route. P

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