‘Filipinos show Catholic faith’s universality’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Christianity was introduced in Asia 500 years ago after the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the Philippine archipelago.
And 500 years since Magellan came, Filipinos have been hailed for bringing the values of Christianity throughout the world.
This was the message of Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles Brown, during the Pontifical Mass on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, celebrating the first baptism that took place in the country.
“So the faith of Christianity was transported in this part of Asia by Europeans and now it is being re-transported to Europe and other places around the world by Filipinos. What do we see in this? We see the universality of the Catholic faith,” said Brown in his Homily.
Brown also praised Filipinos for keeping the Catholic faith alive and urged them to continue doing so wherever they are.
“What we celebrate with hearts with joy is the fact that in these five centuries, the Catholic faith has entered deeply into the Filipino culture and has produced a distinctively Filipino expression of the unchanging and universal truth of Catholic faith,” he said.
“Now, Filipinos bring that faith to the world, not as explorers or colonizers, but in many cases as overseas Filipino workers,” he added.
Pope Francis, through a canned video aired shortly before Wednesday’s Pontifical Mass began, also congratulated Filipinos for celebrating the fifth centenary of Christianity’s arrival.
The pope also called on Filipinos to keep and share the Catholic faith with everyone in the world.
“You know how to transmit the faith and you do it well. You know how to celebrate the feast of faith… You are a generous people. Keep going. The Pope accompanies you. God bless the Philippines and may Mary and the Sto. Niño guide you always,” Pope Francis said in Spanish.
The Roman Catholic church here led the celebrations for the 500th Anniversary of the First Baptism in the country on Wednesday.
Only 700 people, including organizers, performers, and guests, were allowed to participate in the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The first baptism in the islands took place in Cebu on April 14, 1521 when Rajah Humabon, his wife Hara Humamay, and at least 800 natives were christened following the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan here.
Rajah Humabon and Hara Humamay were christened as Don Carlos and Queen Juana, respectively.
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