Palma implores for end to killings
Pray for peace.
As Cebuanos on Thursday welcomed the incorrupt heart relic of Saint Padre Pio, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma called on the people to implore the saint’s intercession for an end to the series of killings in the island.
“We bring to him our hopes for peace. If we come before St. Padre Pio’s heart, with our hearts open for change, something beautiful will happen. With God, nothing is impossible,” said the 68-year-old prelate in his homily during the Mass to welcome the sacred relics at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown Cebu City.
Palma, in an interview after the Mass, expressed dismay over the killings in Cebu which he said run contrary to the island’s contribution to the spread of Christian teachings in Asia.
“Cebu is the Cradle of Christian Civilization (in the Far East) and yet killings here abound. We’re extremely not happy with how things are going here,” he said.
“I hope the visit of St. Padre Pio will reveal the longings of our heart. I’m sure we all long for peace,” he added.
A tally made by Cebu Daily News showed that at least 198 persons were killed this year. Of the number, 47 were killed in separate police operations while the rest were gunned down by unknown assailants.
Most of these murders remain unsolved.
Since last October 3 or a span of just a week, 23 persons were killed in Cebu.
Last August, Palma issued an oratio imperata or a mandatory prayer to end the spate of killings in Cebu.
The killings, however, has not ceased despite the continued prayers.
Palma urged the people to never lose heart and to keep praying.
“Only God has the answer. I don’t have the power to stop the killings and all the evils in the world. Let us nonetheless trust in God. In his own time, there will be an answer to these questions,” he said.
“We will never give up praying. We will never give up doing what is good.
Thousands of people trooped to the Cebu cathedral on Thursday to venerate the incorrupt heart relic of Saint Padre Pio.
Under the heat of the sun, people, including students, waved white and yellow flaglets as the relics arrived at the cathedral at around 10 a.m.
The church bells pealed as members of the renowned Sandiego Dance Troupe danced the Sinulog to welcome Saint Padre Pio incorrupt heart,
Palma then presided over the welcome Mass inside the jampacked Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus with Bishops Oscar Florencio, Antonio Rañola, Daniel Patrick Parcon, and Buenaventura Famadico, and about 30 priests as concelebrants.
The religious relic, which arrived in the Philippines on Friday night last week, visited Manila before it was brought to Cebu on Thursday.
Today, it will be transferred from the Cebu Cathedral to the IC3 Pavilion in Mabolo, Cebu City where it will stay until Sunday.
After that, devotees in Davao will get the chance to venerate the relic.
The relic will stay for another week at the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio in Batangas before it leaves the country on October 26.
The visit of St. Padre Pio’s heart relic coincided with the Italian priest’s 50th death anniversary, as well as the centennial anniversary of the appearance the stigmata or the wound marks of Jesus on his palms, feet, and side.
Padre Pio, a Capuchin priest in Italy, was known for his charity and love for God and neighbors.
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