• Easter Message of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle


    Easter Message 2019

    “Where is Love?” This was the question asked by the orphan boy Oliver Twist in the 1960’s Oliver when he felt alone and abandoned. This song touched me deeply when I was a boy. It is a question many of us ask ourselves when life is hard or when we see injustices destroying lives.

    Christ must have asked the same question on the cross when he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Where was love when Jesus was betrayed, abandoned by his friends and crucified like a criminal?

    Sometimes we find ourselves in a dark place, like Jesus on the cross, and our lives can seem loveless.  When hunger, unemployment, addictions, indignities, abuse, hate speech, false accusations, killing, corruption, human trafficking run wild and seem to reign, our world appears dark. But if we look more carefully, more intently at people and situations, it is then that we see love revealing itself.

    On Jesus’ way to the cross and beyond, in the sea of hate surrounding him, there were also intense moments of love: the women, the Blessed Virgin Mary and John, who brave the sorrow if standing at the foot of the cross when everyone else had abandoned him; the good thief, who broke the stereotype of the delinquent and asked to be remembered when Jesus came into his kingdom; Joseph of Arimathea, who overcame his fear of being an open follower of Christ to ask Pilate for his body; Nicodemus who generously gave vast quantities of myrrh and aloes to anoint Christ’s body; the women who went to the tomb on the third day to tend to the body, even though they had no idea how to move the boulder blocking its entrance; and even Pilate, who saw the injustice of the situation and wanted to release Jesus.

    What these actions have in common is that they seem insignificant, especially if you compare them to the violence of the crucifixion and all that had gone before it. What difference can one act of kindness make in the face of unrelenting evil?  It can make all the difference in ways we can’t even imagine how because these small acts of care and love are crowned by the total self-giving of Christ crucified on the cross.

    Since the time of Christ, who tended to the poor and healed the sick and welcomed the outcasts, our faith has been built on personal encounters and on people who empty themselves, enabling them to see people and their situations with deep understanding, compassion and solidarity. We are called as Christians to encounter others and walk with them humbly, without judgment or pretensions of having the answer to all their problems. It is through these encounters that our hearts are opened and presented with new a horizon and a renewed energy to move forward.  It is through these encounters of love and caring that persons, families and communities are transformed from prisoners of despair into bearers of hope.

    We invite you to seize the power if love unleashed by the risen Christ this Easter, and with the love you have received, spread seeds of hope across our country. Love is not just a word, it’s a lifestyle of seeing, encountering, and understanding other people. It is the lifestyle of Jesus, crucified and risen.  It is the style of being with and living for others in the belief that light will always overcome darkness.  In the name of the Archdiocese of Manila, I wish you a blessed and safe Easter!



    +Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle
    Archbishop of Manila




  • 2019 Ash Wednesday Message

    Today, the first day of Lent, we start preparing to journey with Jesus to Jerusalem where He will show His love for God the Father and for us until the end. It is difficult to travel with heavy bags and baggages. Like Jesus, let us travel light. Let us share what we have with the poor through acts of justice and charity called almsgiving. Let s take care of our health, our hungry neighbors and creation by restraining our appetite through fasting. Let us cast on the Lord our burdens in the spirit of faith and hope through prayer. Almsgiving, fasting and prayer will help us leave behind unnecessary bags and baggages on our Lenten journey with Jesus. Our Mother Mary will accompany us. 

    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle
    Archbishop of Manila


    Travel Light this Lenten Journey - Cardinal Tagle
    Pastoral Letter for Ash Wednesday 2019

  • Message delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle to welcome His Eminence Thomas Aquinas Manyo Cardinal Maeda Envoy of His Holiness Pope Francis on December 8, 2018, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at The Manila Cathedral

    At the outset I would like to greet all of you a blessed Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother. Welcome to the Manila Cathedral and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception as we commemorate the dedication of the post-war reconstructed cathedral in 1958.

    The “rising of the Manila Cathedral from the rubble of war” 60 years ago is recognized by Pope Francis as an important event of faith, hope and love.  For this reason, His Holiness sent someone to represent him and his love for the Church in the Philippines. We welcome the Papal Legate, His Eminence Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda, Archbishop of Osaka, Japan.  The Archdiocese of Manila thanks the Holy Father Pope Francis for gracing the feast through you.  We also thank you for accepting the mission the Pope has entrusted you.

    Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao

    Your Eminence, last April 12, 2018, I welcomed you here in Manila Cathedral. You came with Japanese pilgrims who were tracing the sites connected to Blessed Justo Ukon Takayama, a Japanese martyr who died in Manila in 1615. A month later, Pope Francis announced that you were being elevated to the College of Cardinals. I would like to think that Manila Cathedral prepared you for a new mission. Now, we welcome you again not only as the Cardinal-Archbishop of Osaka but as the Papal Legate. We could not think of a better choice.

    Cardinal Maeda’s ancestors belonged to the hidden Christians in the Japan where Christianity was banned.  Families passed on the faith from generation to generation with creativity and courage.  Christianity was hidden but not absent. Hiddenness has its own dynamic power.  Your Eminence, you carry the un-assuming, humble heritage of hidden but authentic Christians. Here in Manila Cathedral, the longings, cries and thanksgiving of generous of Filipino Catholics have been lifted to God in hidden but real ways.  Their hidden faces and voices continue to strengthen us in faith.

    Cardinal Maeda has been an advocate for peace.  Growing up in Nagasaki, he saw the scars of war. His own mother has been exposed to the light and radiation of the atomic bomb that fell on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  The cry for peace screams from his veins. Your Eminence, Manila Cathedral was ravaged to the ground during the war of liberation in 1945.  Like you, this reconstructed Cathedral is a testament to the power of peace over violence.  We will always rise again after every storm, earthquake, fire and war, because we believe in peace.

    Cardinal Maeda is a poet. He almost spontaneously composes the Japanese poetic form called haiku, even in his homilies. I heard his recite haikus in Rome last June after the consistory for new cardinals. When I attended the beatification of Blessed Ukon Takayama in Osaka last year, he brought me to a small Japanese eating place where he made me taste simple Japanese fish, squid, shrimps, vegetables and of course sake. Simplicity, closeness to nature, brokenness, and silence – these are the ingredients that make one a poet.  Your Eminence, the Manila Cathedral is a poem to God offered by the Filipino people.  Please join your haiku to our tula.

    Your Eminence, thank you once again. Please convey to Pope Francis our love. And now please lead us in the Eucharist, the eternal Poem of Jesus, the Mystery Hidden but now revealed as the Prince of Peace! (RCAM-AOC)

  • Opening of SANGKAN

    Message delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal during the opening ceremony of Isang Angkan kay Kristo (SANGKAN) on November 21, 2018, at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary in Makati City.

    Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao

    Hi! Welcome to Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary and welcome also to the Archdiocese of Manila, thank you for coming. 

    Isang pakiusap lang sa inyo mga minor seminarians, you are young totoo ba yun? (Yes!)

    Pero yung iba sa inyo mas malaki na nga sa amin eh, young pero you are really growing.

    Alam niyo ang pagiging young, ang pagiging youth ay isang blessing isang biyaya ng Diyos, at ga-graduate kayo sa pagiging youth.

    Darating ang panahon magiging adult na kayo, darating ang panahon magiging senior citizen na kayo katulad namin. 

    Tapos yung iba mag-ulyanin na, minsan lang kayo youth.

    Do not waste the blessing of youth.

    Meroong karanasan ang kabataan ay mawawala kapag kayo ay hindi na bata, yung inyong energy, yung inyong  physical freshness, yung capacity ninyo to dream, yung idealism ninyo lahat yan gift ng youth at yan ang gift ninyo sa amin sa inyong family sa inyong society.

    Hindi namin inaasahan na kayo ay mukhang matanda, may mga bata, mukha ng matanda, may mga bata na isip matanda, may mga bata kilos matanda, may mga matanda isip bata, (laughter) may mga matanda pinipilit pa kilos bata, litong lito na tayo eh! Yung bata pinipilit mag matanda yung matanda nagpupumilit maging bata.

    Ang  gift ninyo ay ang pagiging  youth ang pagiging bata, show it to us and contribute to church and being good young people. 

    Use your energy, use your dreams, use your idealism to learn and to contribute to the church and to society ngayon habang nagsasama-sama kayo kahit galing sa iba't-ibang seminaries, galing sa iba't-ibang dioceses, sana mag develop kayo ng friendship.

    Hindi competition ang kailangan natin sa mundo ngayon, kailangan natin common, common effort to promote the common good, magsimula kayo ngayon.

    At hopefully pag kayo ay tumanda na katulad namin ay hindi kayo mag co-compete sa isa'tisa.

    Sasabihin ninyo, "di ba nag kasama tayo sa SANGKAN noon? Di ba iisa tayong angkan?"

    Sinimulan natin yan noong bata tayo, ngayong tayo’y hindi na  bata isa parin yan  sa tumutulong sa iisang simbahan at sa iisang sambayanan. 

    So tama na yun at baka antukin na kayong lahat. Enjoy the rest of the day at mamayang gabi yata meron pang programs at cultural presentations. 

    Please appreciate each other and be good friends to one another. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. Sa mga formator teachers and guardians maraming salamat po sa inyo. Thank you, God bless!

  • 8th Manila Cathedral Pipe Organ Concert entitled Maria: The Most Beautiful Sound

    Message delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle during the concert 8th Manila Cathedral Pipe Organ Concert that featured Maria, the Most Beautiful Sound at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Concepcion – Manila Cathedral last November 9, 2018, at 7 p.m.

    Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao

    I would personally like to thank you for joining us tonight in this tribute to our loving mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the 60th year of the dedication of the Cathedral to the Immaculate Concepcion after the war. Like Mary, the Manila Cathedral has become a refuge for the Filipino people for more than 400 years, we as a people have come into this cathedral with our dreams, with what ails us, with what we hope for. Take comfort my dear friends in our knowledge that when we worship together in this cathedral today we join generations before us who have huddled together in prayer, in times of peace and in times of war and strife. We stand here now taking part in the rich history of our faith and the expression of love through the centuries. That is what motherhood is all about, isn't it?  Love, the heart of our blessed Mother was pierced several times and she anguished as she watched her only son suffer for our salvation, but because her heart was field with love, love for her son and his mission, love for the Father and His plan and love for humankind, she saw no other path than that of faith and forgiveness and her faith was ultimately rewarded. 

    In our present time, it is very easy to be overwhelmed by anxiety and fear. We are surrounded by voices that seek to engage us, to turn us against our own brothers and sisters. We ridicule each other, we call each other names, we quickly pass judgment, we refuse to listen. Hate, hate, after all, is extremely alluring attractive because it requires no knowledge, no courage, no sacrifice, no faith. My dear brothers and sisters let us look to the example of our Blessed Mother. It is imperative that we remember salvation is found not in hate but in love. It is love that restored us to the side of God, it is love that rebuilt this very cathedral after it had been razed by fire, destroyed by earthquakes, and mercilessly bomb during the battle of liberation in 1945. If we are to rebuild our lives and our society, we must return to the greatest of all virtues, charity, love. I invite everyone to continue to sing praises and to offer prayers together within these walls. As mother church, the Manila Cathedral will warmly welcome those of us who come in thanksgiving, those who are weary, those who need guidance, all shall be sheltered here, where the love of our Blessed Mother, shall envelop them.


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