The ceremony for the 500 years of the evangelization of the Philippines began with this procession.
Many were dressed in traditional clothing and two of them carried the Magellan’s Cross and the Santo Niño de Cebu. They moved to the beat of the thanksgiving song “Bato balani sa gugma.”
Francisco was wearing pink clothing, the liturgical color of this Sunday of Lent. It symbolizes hope because it remembers that after pain will come joy.
In his homily, Francisco highlighted the capacity of Filipino women to evangelize.
Many times I have said that here in Rome Filipino women are “smugglers” of faith. Because wherever they work, they work, but they sow faith. This is, excuse the expression, a ‘genetic disease’, but it is a beautiful disease. Keep it.
Francis reflected on the unconditional love of God. He said the Church must follow in his footsteps and follow suit.
If God loves to the point of giving himself, the Church also has this mission: she was not sent to judge but to welcome; not to impose but to sow. The Church is called not to condemn but to bring Christ who is salvation.
At the end of the ceremony, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle was moved as he thanked the Pope for the possibility of celebrating this mass. He recalled that there are currently 10 million Filipinos emigrated for labor reasons.
CARD. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE
“When moments of loneliness come, we Filipino migrants find strength in Jesus.”
Less than 200 people were able to participate in the ceremony because of the anticovid measures, although that did not make the day lose its festive air.