By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte urged Filipino Catholics to emulate the qualities of Mary as the country commemorated the Solemnity of her Immaculate Conception Saturday.
Duterte noted how Filipinos unite to celebrate the life of Virgin Mary whom the people adore and admire for her simplicity, kindness, and humility.
“She has been an epitome of faith and a source of inspiration for our people, especially during times of challenges and uncertainties,” Duterte said.
The President is also hoping that the narrative of the Immaculate Conception serves as a reminder of Mary’s selflessness when she accepted the invitation to be the mother of Christ so that the plan of salvation would be realized.
“Let us emulate Mary’s qualities as a humble and caring person and remain guided by her faithfulness as we strengthen our devotion and nurture our lives with unconditional love and good deeds that will benefit the Filipino people,” Duterte said.
On December 23, 2017, President Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 10966, declaring December 8 of every year a special non-working holiday nationwide.
“December 8 of every year is hereby declared a special nonworking holiday in the entire country to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Principal Patroness of the Philippines,” the RA read.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation for Catholics.
It is one of the three holy days of obligation declared by the Catholic Church in which Catholics must hear Mass.
The other days of obligations are New Year’s Day and Christmas Day.
According to the dogma of the Catholic Church, Immaculate Conception was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, free from original sin as God willed it as Mary was destined as the Mother of Jesus Christ.
Meantime, Japan’s Cardinal Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda is hoping that his country and the Philippines will further strengthen its ties through the guidance of the Lord.
Cardinal Maeda represented Pope Francis during yesterday’s observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion and the 60th anniversary of the postwar Manila Cathedral.
“I hope and I pray for each and every one, all the faithful of Japan and the Philippines that [we] further strengthen our ties and further strengthen our faith in our Lord,” Cardinal Maeda said as he presided the Eucharistic Mass Saturday afternoon. (with a report from Analou C. De Vera)