Mk 10: 13-16


Devotion to the Holy Child, or the Santo Niño, is a sentiment felt worldwide, but its strongest resonance is undeniably in the Philippines. Our affection for the Santo Niño is rooted in our love for the profound truth of God-made-man, embodied in the Child Jesus, born of Mary. While the original image in Cebu holds a special place, numerous locations have embraced their own Santo Niño, and people even transforming the regal prince’s image into various manifestations—be it the Holy Child as a baker, firefighter, doctor, tailor, or even a street child.

In the fervor of this devotion, however, some have inadvertently fallen prey to a misguided notion that the Christ Child perpetually remains a child—forever meek, gentle, and easily manipulated by human greed for power, fame, and riches. Unofficial versions of the Santo Niño, alongside the sanctioned ones, have emerged. For instance, there is a Santo Niño de la Suerte (luck) used as a charm for acquiring money, wealth, property, and success in games of chance. This variant, also known as Santo Niño de la Pera (money), deviates grossly from the intended message of the Incarnation, and such images and titles have rightfully been banned by church authorities, particularly in Cebu, the home of the original image.

Recent times have seen the emergence of a controversial figure known as Santo Niño Hubad or Hubo (naked), gaining notoriety through social media and the press. This image depicts a naked child in the traditional pose of a Santo Niño but with a pronounced private part. It is employed as a talisman for good luck, enhanced sexual prowess, and economic success, purportedly effective with incantations in corrupted Latin and other magical formulae. Church authorities have swiftly denounced this image and its use.

Amidst these distortions, the feast of Santo Niño redirects our focus to the fundamental message of Christmas—the astonishing truth that God entered our human history and shared our lives through Jesus. It serves as a poignant reminder that His life and message should not be manipulated to fit our human inclinations for error.


This celebration underscores God’s immense love and His trust in our capacity to engage in a living relationship with Him. In this relationship, He must be acknowledged as Lord, and we, His humble followers. Take a moment to reflect on instances where you may have been tempted to manipulate God to align with your will rather than His. Pray for the development of a disciple’s heart—one that faithfully listens and humbly obeys the Lord, recognizing that He is the Master, not us.