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.
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).
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 pagda