Commission on the Laity: Duterte’s declaration of Sept. 8 as a special working holiday a ‘pleasant’ surprise
CEBU CITY, Philippines –The Archdiocese of Cebu’s Commission on the Laity said they welcome the declaration of the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary every September 8 as a special working holiday.
Fe Barino, the chairperson of the Commission on the Laity, said the declaration was a “pleasant” surprise to the Catholic faithful, especially after the President’s tirades against the Roman Catholic Church in the past.
“That’s a very welcome good news to all of us, especially the Catholics. Nalipay kaayo ko nga despite sa mga negative nga gipangsulti sa Presidente about sa atong mga Catholics, at least naa diay sa iyang kasingkasing atong mahal nga Birhen,” said Fe in an interview with CDN Digital.
(That’s a very welcome good news to all of us, especially the Catholics. I am happy that despite the negative statements that the President said about the Catholics, at least the Virgin Mother is still in his heart.)
In previous statements, the President released harsh words against the Church and its leaders, including bishops, telling jobless men or tambays to kill them, only to retract the statement later saying that anyone who harms a clergy will face his wrath.
The President also once said that the Catholic faith was “silly” and that God was “stupid” in a speech on July 2018.
‘Celebrate Marian holiday in prayer’
Barino said that the Holy Spirit must have been at work as the President readily signed into law the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary holiday every September 8.
“God is in control of everything, even in the mind of our President,” she said.
Barino urged the Catholics to celebrate this Marian holiday with prayers and offerings.
One way to celebrate the new holiday is to join the Walk with Mary, an annual procession of the Archdiocese of Cebu traversing Osmeña Boulevard to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. The procession starts at 4 a.m. in the morning and ends in a Eucharistic celebration.
Barino urged the faithful to celebrate the birth of Mary by remembering her role in salvation, and the sacrifices she made as the Mother of God and the Mother of the World.
“We should try to emulate her obedience, her strong faith to God. We should remember that she is also our Mother,” she said. /bmjo
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