4 April 2021 - Today, Easter Sunday, marks the Opening of the Jubilee Year celebrating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. The Church in the Philippines has lined up a year-long program of activities and events (https://500yoc.com/national-activities/).
Over the last nine years, the CBCP has given us various themes for reflection in preparation for this milestone in the history of the Church. “Gifted to give” is the theme of this grand Jubilee Year celebration.
By Divine Will, through the last five centuries Christianity has become an integral part of Filipino culture. It is faith that has sustained our people in joy and hope, through the many natural calamities and the challenges of life in a developing country. Our faith sustains us now through the personal, family, social and professional trials brought about by the pandemic.
Our first two canonized Filipino saints were martyrs of the faith as missionaries in foreign lands. Today, the Filipino migrants and workers in the diaspora continue to be effective agents of evangelization, sustained by their faith and spreading the faith in foreign lands. In the words of Pope Francis, “It is part of your genes, a blessed ‘infectiousness’ that I urge you to preserve. Keep bringing the faith, the good news you received 500 years ago, to others.” (Homily on March 14, 2021)
Opus Dei, as an institution of the Catholic Church, especially its faithful in the Philippines, joins the whole Filipino Christendom in thanksgiving for this quintecentennial of Christianity in the Philippines.
A Happy Easter to all!
Rev. Msgr Carlos G. Estrada
Regional Vicar of Opus Dei in the Philippines