CEBU CITY – The head of the Roman Catholic church in Cebu underscored the strengthening of Filipino faith amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic during the opening of the 500th Year of Christianity (YOC) celebration on Sunday.
“Because when we celebrate, we make presence of the love of God particularly today the time of the pandemic, we invite and we claim that love because we know Covid brings fear but we also know deep in our hearts that the love of Christ strengthens our faith,” Archbishop Jose Palma said in his homily.
Palma led other bishops and priests in simultaneously opening Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral’s “Holy Door” along with those in 12 other old churches and parishes in significant locations, to mark the start of the jubilee year.
Last February, Pope Francis granted the request of Palma to declare within the Archdiocese of Cebu a Special Jubilee Year, along with the attached plenary indulgence, in commemoration of the 500th year of the arrival of Christianity in the country.
Within the jubilee year, a faithful who passes through the Holy Door, goes to confession, receives Holy Communion, and prays for the intercession of the Holy Father and the Church, will receive the plenary indulgence, a complete remission of all temporal punishments from sins.
Palma told the faithful who attended the mass that marked the opening of the year-long celebration, to believe in the risen Lord’s promise of life amid the deaths due to Covid-19.
“He stays with us (and) our faith is stronger than our fear. For us, there in Christ is our triumph, our victory, our light in the midst of darkness in our life even in the midst of death,” he said. (PNA)