Old St. Augustine’s is the parish of choice for many Filipino-Americans in the Philadelphia area, and devotion to Santo Nino, the Holy Child Jesus, is one of the most popular devotions among the Filipino people.
Devotion to Santo Nino was originally brought to the Philippine Islands by Augustinian missionaries in 1535, and the Basilica in Cebu is the international center for this devotion.
On January 11, 1992, a statue of Santo Nino, was installed at Old St. Augustine’s church, and this church is now the National Shrine for devotion to Santo Nino in North America.
In July 1994, an official replica of the original statue of Santo Nino was commissioned by the Augustinians in the Philippines to be permanently enshrined at Old St. Augustine’s church. This statue symbolizes the unity of faith of the people and Augustinian friars in the Philippine Islands with the people and Augustinian friars in the United States.
Novena prayers to Santo Nino are held after the 11:00 a.m. Mass every Sunday in the church and all are invited to join in this devotion to the patron of the Philippines.
In the Philippines and in Old St. Augustine’s church, an annual feast honoring Santo Nino called “Sinulog”, is celebrated on the third Sunday in January. Because of the cold weather in January in this part of the United States, the Filipino Catholic community of the Delaware Valley decided to celebrate another feast of Santo Nino with a “Summer Sinulog” on the third Sunday in August, close to the feast of St. Augustine, which occurs on August 28th.