Palma: Let’s leave a legacy for 500 YOC
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Church leaders here expressed happiness for the success of the quincentenary celebrations of Christianity’s arrival.
And Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma encouraged not only organizers of the quincentennial events but also Cebuano Catholics to make the 500 Years of Christianity (500 YOC) a legacy.
“The important challenge for us is (to leave a) legacy, and I’m sure when we celebrate the Jubilee that the emphasis is what legacy do we leave. What legacy do we give so that people, who might have wanted to come for the celebration and for the events here could not come,” Palma said in a Homily during the Mass for the launching of the Bags of Hope project on Sunday, April 18 at the Archbishop’s Palace.
“We know there are other movements and activities for our 500 YOC and we have to celebrate (them) meaningfully and joyfully, but we must also leave a legacy, especially those who may not be able to follow us,” he added.
Cebu kicked off the start of the 500 YOC celebrations on Easter Sunday, April 4 at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral with the opening of the Jubilee Doors, and the unveiling of the Jubilee Crosses.
The week-long event culminated on Wednesday, April 14 with the ceremonial reenactment of the First Baptism that occurred in the country. It was held right beside the Magellan’s Cross in Plaza Sugbo in downtown Cebu City.
Sunday’s Mass for the Bags of Hope initiative by non-profit organization Five Loaves and Two Fish Inc. – Cebu (FLTFI – Cebu) is also in line with 500 YOC.
Palma also shared how he personally received congratulatory remarks from Archbishop Charles Brown, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, who presided over the Pontifical Mass marking the 500th Anniversary of Baptism last Wednesday.
“Despite limitations of (physical participation), and that’s more we can ask for… But it made me happy to know that the likes of Papal Nuncio appreciated what we have celebrated all of these will be part of that memory,” explained Palma.
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in the archipelago exactly 500 years ago and introduced Christianity to the natives.
The First Mass in Philippine soil was held in Limasawa Island in Leyte while the First Baptism was made here in Cebu, with Rajah Humabon and his consort Hara Humamay baptized as Don Carlos and Queen Juana respectively.
The Philippines remained the only Asian country with the largest number of citizens practicing the Roman Catholic faith.
As early as 2012, the Roman Catholic church here began preparations for the 500 YOC in what supposed to be a month-long activity only.
However, to recall, in 2020, they decided to prolong the celebrations up to April 22 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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