y Joel V. Ocampo
Photos from Pamati - Archdiocese of Capiz
Before the bestowal ceremonies and the thanksgiving mass of Cardinal Advincula concluded, His Excellency Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines delivered his message.
He told the people of God in Capiz that Pope Francis has a deep and abiding love for the Filipino people; and the fact that he chose their archbishop to be a cardinal, to be in that select group of papal advisers, and papal electors: the ones who will elect the next Holy Father, the fact that he has chosen their beloved archbishop Cardinal Advincula for this honor, reflects the great love that Pope Francis has for the Filipino people and for the Filipino church.
He also told the people that the beautiful scarlet, color red that the cardinals wear is a reminder that red is a symbol of blood. That the cardinal is asked to be faithful, even to the shedding of his blood. Therefore, the red of the cardinal is a sign of martyrdom, a sign of witness. Because that is what martyrdom means: to be a witness. He continued, “Cardinals are called in a special way to be a witness even to the shedding of their blood.”
He also reminded the faithful that “All of us are called to be witnesses to our Catholic faith.” Then he highlighted the Catholic faith that Filipinos are bringing all over the entire world. He said, “Catholic Filipinos in every corner of the world are spreading and witnessing of their Catholic faith, and how beautiful that is.”
Archbishop Brown also called the attention of the faithful about the other symbolism of the color red. He said, “Remember also that the red, the blood is the symbol also of the Eucharist.” He continued, “Jesus nourishes us with His body and His blood. His blood is life. Jesus’ life which come in to us through the Eucharist. Jesus’ life which permeate in our souls and our bodies. Jesus’ life through the Eucharist that is going to make it possible for us to go through death into eternal life. Because the life of Jesus, the blood of Jesus is coursing through us because of the Eucharist.”
In addition to being a witness and the Holy Eucharist, Archbishop Brown also added Our Lady, the Mother of God, Mary Most Holy, to serve as guide for the mission. He said, “The one whom we call, ‘our life, our sweetness, and our hope,’ gives us life. Because she gives us Jesus. Let us be faithful to Our Lady. Let us be children of Our Lady. Let us allow her to draw us closer to our life, who is Jesus.”
Finally, Archbishop Brown concluded his message saying, “I ask you, as I always do, to pray for Pope Francis. For me as his representative, one of the things he’s always asking us to do, is to ask for prayers for the Pope. So, let’s pray for Cardinal Advincula during this time of his transition. Let us also pray for our beloved Holy Father Pope Francis. We entrust all of these intentions in the hands of Our Lady, Mother of God, ‘our life, our sweetness, and our hope’.”