On March 14, 2021, His Holiness Pope Francis will lead the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy, at 10 in the morning, in celebration of the 500 Years of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
According to Fr. Ramon Gregory Gaston, rector of Pontificio Collegio Filippino, the official residence of Filipino priests studying in Rome, His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Cardinal Angelo Donatis, the Pope’s Vicar for Rome will also join the Mass.
Only a limited number of people, however, will be allowed to come inside the basilica for the celebration because of the restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Filipinos from around the world can still watch and receive the blessing of the Holy Father through the Facebook Page of the Vatican. After the Mass, Pope Francis will hold his Sunday Angelus at noon.
Last Feb. 6, 2021, the Archdiocese of Manila has launched celebration activities for the 500 Years of the Arrival of Christianity in the Philippines with the Holy Mass presided by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila. The following day, Feb. 7, different parishes in the Archdiocese held their respective activities to mark the event.
Before that, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has announced last year that the year-round activities scheduled for the celebration of the historical event will be adjusted until April 2022 due to the throat of the COVID-19 virus in the country.
The year-long celebration of the event, according to Fr. Gaston, is an opportunity for the faithful especially Filipinos to be thankful for the gift of faith.
“As we thank the Lord for the gift of faith, may we discover him each day in the people and circumstances of daily life. And may we continue to grow in our faith through prayers, sacrifices and good works in this season of Lent,” Fr. Gaston told the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)