WHILE celebrating its own fiesta on Dec. 8, the Immaculate Conception Church in Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija, also joined the universal Church in inaugurating the Year of Mercy.
Dec. 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception, also marked the start of Pope Francis’ “Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.”
Pope Francis has declared a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. The Year of Mercy began on Dec. 8, which, aside from the feast of Immaculate Conception, was also the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council. The Year of Mercy will close on Nov. 20, 2016, Feast of Christ the King.
Joining the Nampicuan fiesta was Judy Araneta-Roxas, mother of presidential candidate Mar Roxas. She was thus also able to view and pray before the replica of the “Holy Veil of Manoppello” enshrined in Nampicuan church.
The replica is the only officially approved replica outside of the Basilica del Volto Santo (Basilica of the Holy Face) in Abruzzo in the Apennine mountains of Italy. It is also considered a second-class relic since it was made to touch the original Veil.
The Holy Veil of Manoppello is a piece of cloth dating back to the earliest Christian era that is said to bear the image of the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis’s Bull of Indiction announcing the Year of Mercy is titled “Misericordiae Vultus” or “The Face of Mercy.” It opens with the declaration, “Jesus is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith.”
Perpetual rosary novena
Dec. 8 also saw the 44th anniversary of the Philippine Dominican Province.
The head church of the province, Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, is holding a perpetual novena to the Santissimo Rosario de La Naval de Manila every Saturday,
5:30 p.m. Holy Mass follows at 6 p.m.
Santo Domingo Church of course hosts the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary under the title, La Naval de Manila, which commemorates the miraculous victory of the vastly outgunned joint Spanish and Philippine forces over the Protestant Dutch armada in the 17th century.
Mariologist and teacher Fr. Roland Mactal, OP, is prior of Santo Domingo Convent and rector of La Naval shrine.
Cebu Eucharistic Congress
Here’s the conclusion of the article by Fr. Antonio Maria
Rosales, OFM, on the devotion to the Eucharist that he wrote in connection with the forthcoming International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu City on Jan. 24 to 31 next year.
“In 1881, the first International Eucharistic Congress was held in France, to be celebrated every four years. In 1897, Pope Leo XIII proclaimed San Pascual Baylon (1540-1592), a Spanish Franciscan lay brother, patron of Eucharistic Congresses and Societies.
“A noncleric was chosen so to underline that the Eucharist would not be the monopoly of the clergy, but that it is a
challenge to the faith of all the baptized to see the risen Lord there, and through Holy Communion transform themselves, and society through love, compassion and unselfish service.
“This is implied in the theme, ‘The Christ in You, the Hope of Glory.’ of the 2016 IEC. How meaningful this consideration is as we, the only Christian country in Asia, prepare for our national elections.
“In 1962, Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868), founder of the Blessed Sacrament religious family, was canonized and made co-patron of the IEC with San Pascual Baylon.
“The first IEC to be celebrated here was held in Manila in 1937, the 33rd. A 6-year-old named Ricardo J. Vidal from Marinduque received his first communion in that Congress. He would later become a priest and a cardinal, and is now the archbishop emeritus of Cebu. Health permitting, he will himself give communion to first communicants in the 2016 IEC in January.”
Franciscan Father Rosales is a visiting lecturer on moral theology at St. Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute in Davao City. He now resides at the St. Francis Friary, #2 Capricorn St., Punta Princesa, Cebu City. E-mail: <[email protected]>.
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