"Filipino Christian culture." God's providence in the Philippines has truly been wonderful. The Christianization that took place in the sixteenth century was not something merely accidental. Divine grace was at work when the people of this region had their first contact with the image of the Santo Nino. It is an important historical fact, rich in religious meaning, that on January 1, 1571 the village kingdom of Sugbu was renamed "Villa del Santo Nino," and thus the first city of the Philippines was placed under the patronage of the Child Jesus. In a particular way the church thank God that the tiny Christian community of Sugbo, under the patronage of the Infant Jesus, has now become a flourishing archdiocese of two million people, almost all of whom are Catholics. It can truly be said that growth in faith and Christian living has been until now a constant feature of the church in Cebu as well as the whole Philippines. The glorious past gives hope for the future.
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