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Filipinos in Rome Ready for 500 Years of Christianity Celebrations

​by Margaux Salcedo

Filipinos in Rome have a complete line up of events for the 500 Years of Christianity celebrations.

The first is the much anticipated mass with the Holy Father Pope Francis on March 14, 2021 at the St Peter's Basilica.

According to Ms. Sally Manila, Worship Commission head of the Parish Pastoral Council of the Sentro Pilipino in Rome, after the mass, Filipinos are invited to gather at St Peter's Square to wave the Filipino flag after the Pope's gives his Sunday Angelus message. ​

​Easter Sunday

Then on Easter Sunday, His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will be the lead celebrant at the mass for the Filipino community at the Santa Maria Maggiore. This will be at 2:30 pm in the afternoon Rome time (9:30 pm Manila).

Throwback: Cardinal Tagle presides over Simbang Gabi mass last December 2020 for the Filipino community in Rome

Santa Maria Maggiore or the Basilica of Saint Mary Major is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. This is where Pope Francis went to pray in thanksgiving for the protection of Mother Mary immediately after arriving from his successful trip to Iraq.

This basilica is especially significant for Filipinos because, according to Fr Ricky Gente of the Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy in Rome, this is the church that Jose Rizal visited when he went to Rome.

Santa Cruzan On May 30, 2021, Filipinos in Rome will honor the Blessed Virgin Mother with the Santa Cruzan and Flores de Mayo. As with Philippine tradition and as they have been doing in Rome for several years, there will be a Sagala procession. The details will be announced after Easter.

Gifted to Give The Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy Staff and Pastoral Council at the Santa Pudenziana Basilica in Rome, gave a beautiful statement on the commemoration of 500 Years of Christianity. First, as we celebrate the Year of Missio Ad Gentes, we are also celebrating the fact that today, Filipinos all over the world are the "new missionaries": "This joyous celebration is to remember and give thanks for the gift of faith we received 500 years ago. Filipinos now can be seen in different parts of the word and are known for our faith. Because of this, we are the new missionaries of the world. (Ang masayang pagdiriwang na ito ay nakaugnay sa paggunita at pasasalamat sa Pananampalatayang ating natanggap 500 taong ang nakalipas. Ang mga Pilipino ay matatagpuan saan mang panig ng mundo at kilala bilang may malalim na pananampalataya sa Panginoon. Dahil dito tayo ay tinuturing ‘ang makabagong misyonaryo ng mundo’."

The Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy Staff and Pastoral Council at the Santa Pudenziana Basilica in Rome read their statement for 500 Years of Christianity

Second, it is through faith that Filipinos the world over find family and the church, wherever they are in the world, is home: "As Catholics, we give meaning to our faith by participating in masses, filling up churches where the faithful are now dwindling in numbers. By coming together on Sundays, we feel a sense of comfort, belongingness; we are no longer abandoned because we see our community as our family. Through catechism and formation imparted by the Spiritual directors, as we deepen our knowledge we gain an incomparable grace, such that we ourselves become effective evanglizers of the Christian faith. (Sa pamumuhay bilang mananampalataya, pinapalalim ​ natin ang ating pananampalatayang Kristiyano sa pamamagitan ng pagdalo sa banal na misa, pagpupuno ng mga simbahan mula sa papaliit na bilang ng mga dumadalo. Sa pamamagitan ng mga pagtitipon ng mga komunidad tuwing linggo, nadarama ang seguridad, pagiging kabahagi, pagtanggap, higit sa lahat nababawasan ang ating pangungulila. Dahil itinuturing natin ang mga komunidad na ito bilang ikalawang pamilya. Sa pamamagitan ng katesismo at pormasyon na ibinabahagi ng mga Spiritual directors, lumalago ang ating karunungan na nagpapalalim sa mahalaga at walang katumbas na regalong ating natanggap, upang tayo ay maging mga epektibong tagapagpahayag ng pananampalatayang Kristiyano.)" From Rome, our Filipino brothers and sisters through the Pastoral Council of the Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy join in the 500 Years of Christianity celebrations to say, "We wish to join all Filipinos in giving thanks and praise. Mabuhay ang pananampalatayang Kristiyano (long live our Christian faith!) ​Truly, we are Gifted to Give!"

Spotlight on Rome

Watch the Dominus Est interview with Fr Ricky Gente, Chaplain of the Sentro Pilipino in Rome, Santa Pudenziana Basilica on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 8:00 PM.

Fr. Ricky will tell us about all the preparations of Rome's Filipino community and what Pope Francis personally told him about Filipinos. He is also joined by Ms Sally Manila, Worship Commission head, who shares with us what they have lined up for the mass.

Go to to watch it live.

Sentro Pilipino is the Mission Center for the Pastoral Care of the Filipino Migrants in the Diocese of Rome. It is based in the Basilica Santa Pudenziana in Rome, Italy.

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