Sotaquí (Agenzia Fides) - The scorching sun did not discourage thousands of pilgrims and devotees of "El Niño Dios" in Sotaquí, who on Sunday 12 January gave birth to the "Fiesta Grande 2020", one of the most important and heartfelt religious holidays in Chile, whose program was guided by the motto "Let us all pray for Chile". Faced with the serious social and religious crisis that the country is experiencing, the feast and the novena that preceded it, from 3 to 11 January, wanted to invite everyone to a great prayer for the country.
Father José Antonio López, Rector of the Shrine, underlined the meaning of the feast, which focused on prayer for the country: "On this occasion we wanted to emphasize prayer for Chile, so that the requests expressed by most of the society may be heard and resolved. Even the novena went in that direction, we all pray to the Lord and his holy Mother. May El Niño Dios de Sotaquí intercede for us", he said.
According to information released by the Episcopal Conference of Chile, sent to Fides, the solemn Mass was presided over by the Archbishop of La Serena, Mgr. René Rebolledo Salinas, concelebrated by numerous priests and permanent deacons from all over the archdiocese. In the afternoon the traditional procession began on the streets of the city, accompanied by songs and dances in honor of the Child Jesus.
"El Niño Dios" by Sotaquí is a small wooden statue, considered miraculous, depicting the Baby Jesus. It ranks among the depictions of the Child Jesus spread in Spain, Italy, Latin America and the Philippines, among other places, whose devotion is handed down from generation to generation. It is about 40 cm high and is kept in the church of Niño Dios in the small Chilean town of Sotaquí, in the municipality of Ovalle, where it was found by chance by some children. For the annual "big feast" in January, which lasts a few days, thousands of people come to this place, from all over the country and also from abroad. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 14/1/2020)