The annual Blessing of Children and Babies took place on Sunday in the Church of the Redeemer

ONE of the most popular events in the annual St Gerard Novena took place on Sunday with the blessing of children and babies at St Joseph’s and the Church of the Redeemer.

ONE of the most popular events in the annual St Gerard Novena took place on Sunday with the blessing of children and babies at St Joseph’s and the Church of the Redeemer.

Both places were brought to a standstill.

St Joseph’s was nearly full half-an-hour before the ceremony began.

And by 2.30 the people poured out of St Joseph’s and onto St Alphonsus Road and all the parking space in the vicinity was full.

As usual throughout the week, the crowds attending the novena were huge and the visiting Redemptorists conducting the talks, were, once again, pleasantly surprised to see the church full from 7am to 10.30pm.

Tens of thousands of petitions were placed on the church altar, the bundles tied in ribbons, and for each petition a candle was lit.

These candles stretched under a cover canopy through the monastery grounds, alight for every prayer, and every remembered loved one.

Every friend or relative in sickness or in need.

These petitions spoke of worries: unemployment, suicide, addiction, family break-up, children worried about their parents, grandparents worried about the future for their families.

And of course, they also spoke of thanksgiving.