By Ononye VC
One of the high points of the Christmas 2021 vigil mass at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity,Onitsha, was the blessing of the Child Jesus grotto by the Archbishop of Onitsha after the vigil mass.
Immediately after the vigil mass,the congregants who were already in jubilant mood trooped out and besieged the the grotto where the Archbishop was to bless the grotto.
Already some Reverend Sisters of the of the Clarissan Missionary extraction were on hand to receive the Archbishop and other priests for the brief ceremony.
The Sisters were seen bearing trays containing powder and also a small effigy of the Child Jesus,ready for action.
As soon as the Archbishop and other priests arrived the grotto amidst the rush and push to catch a glimpse of the blessing of the grotto,the Archbishop incensed the grotto,sprinkled the holy water and blessed the Child Jesus.
The Archbishop then stretched his palms for the powder and he rubbed it profusely and generously on his face,cheering as he did.
The priests also took turns to rub the powder which evoked excitement,cheers and laughter the way they looked.
The congregants near the grotto struggled to get their turn to rub the powder with the belief that it was a special blessing to rub the Child Jesus powder.
Earlier in a sermon during the mass,the Archbishop described the Child Jesus as a king and prince of peace.
According to the Archbishop,Jesus will be father forever who will always reverse our misfortunes and turn them into blessings.
“As we celebrate the birth of Christ,we must shun evil.It is not what people are talking about you that matters but what God has in stock for you”.
The Archbishop pointed out that Jesus came with humility and not like the earthly kings and rulers who went about with siren and security.
“Jesus came for emancipation and liberation of mankind.If we follow his footsteps,victory will be ours,he will be fighting for us”,the Archbishop said.
In his remarks,Chancellor of the Archdiocese Very Rev Fr Prudentius Aroh,elaborated on the Archbishop’s homily and the need for prayers for reversal of misfortunes in the lives

of Christians.

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