Catholics start 9-day Misa de Gallo today
Public advised to secure homes as criminals are expected to strike
Thousands of Catholics flock to different churches at the break of dawn today for the start of the traditional nine-day Masses popularly known as Misa de Gallo.
Msgr. Ruben Labajo, team moderator of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, said the highlight for this year’s Misa de Gallo, which means “Mass of the Rooster” in Spanish, will be to show the importance of the youth in the church.
“We will be giving homilies to let them realize that the young are not only the future of the church but they are the church. Kon wala ang batan-on lisod sad ang simbahan kay they are the ones giving the energy and dynamism,” he said.
Cebu, he added, will host the National Youth Day celebration on April 2019.
Meanwhile, authorities warned the public to properly secure their homes before heading to churches as thieves and robbers are expected to strike heavily during this time when most houses are left unattended.
Lock doors, don’t leave windows open and if possible leave somebody to tend to your property, they warn.
It has become a tradition among Catholics to attend the dawn Masses.
Those who have special petitions and requests will try to complete the nine-day cycle believing that by doing so, God will grant their request.
“Because of our sacrifices in the morning, chances are God will be pleased and grant our petition,” Labajo said.
This tradition started in the 17th century and was introduced in the country by Spanish friars in agricultural communities so that farmers could attend the Mass before heading off to the fields.
Since the Masses take place during the Advent season, a period of penance and anticipation, Labajo encouraged the faithful to go to confession to make the season more meaningful.
“We hope the celebration of Advent would touch the heart of people and lead them to go to confession and eventually for conversion,” Labajo said.
Meanwhile, the weather state bureau in Mactan forecasted a partly cloudy to cloudy skies in the afternoon or in the evening due to localized thunderstorms.
Weather Specialist Van Singson of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan station advised the public to bring umbrellas as they head to church today.
Jackets and hoodies are also essentials as mornings are unusually cooler due to the prevailing northeast monsoon or Amihan.
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