Church hopes for more participants to Red Wednesday
A church official expressed hope that more churches and institutions would join in the celebration of Red Wednesday next year.
The first observance of Red Wednesday this week was in commemoration of Christian martyrs.
“Having our native saint, Pedro Calungsod, himself a martyr of Christian persecution, we should more than ever set this day as our response in faith to observe in prayer and witnessing in support of modern-day martyrs,” said Fr. Ric Anthony Reyes, OSA, of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Calungsod, the first Visayan martyr and second Filipino saint after St. Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, was killed by two angry natives in Guam in 1672 for baptizing and catechizing the people.
To express solidarity with persecuted Christians around the world, the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City was lit in red on Wednesday, joining at least 80 churches, ecclesiastical territories and universities in the country in celebrating “Red Wednesday,” an international event geared towards raising awareness about the plight of persecuted Christians.
Although the basilica is Cebu’s most popular landmark, Reyes said they would want other churches to take part in the event.
“I hope really that there would be activities like this next year, and much of our hope also is for other churches in Cebu as well to hold such venerable commemoration,” he told Cebu Daily News in a text message.
“For our part in the basilica, we anticipate more activities, hoping in the next years, by making the devotees more involved, we will be able to evangelize our unity in standing up for the persecuted Christians,” he added.
“This is but a potent expression, a very visible way of being a ‘communion of saints’ as we profess it in our Creed,” the priest said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier encouraged Philippine churches and schools to celebrate Red Wednesday upon the request of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a pontifical foundation and an international Catholic charity which supports pastoral aid projects for the poor and persecuted church throughout the world.
Red Wednesday was also marked in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Italy and France.
Aside from the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, the other prominent churches and institutions that joined the Red Wednesday in the country were the Manila Cathedral, the Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, the University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo De Manila University, and Saint Paul University in Manila and Quezon City.
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