Simbang Gabi to be observed by Filipinos in Milan, Italy

Published December 10, 2018, 12:55 PM

by Patrick Garcia


By Christina Hermoso

The age-old Filipino Christmas tradition of Simbang Gabi will be observed by Filipino migrants in Milan, Italy.


Rev. Fr Noel Osial, SDB, vicar of the Parish of Santo Stefano and chaplain for Filipino communities in Milan said, the SImbang Gabi “is given official recognition by the Diocese of Milan, which allows Filipinos to celebrate one Simbang Gabi at the Duomo of Milan. The other eight remaining masses are celebrated by the various Filipino communities in churches that host them, meaning one Simbang Gabi will be celebrated altogether in the Duomo of Milan as one Filipino community,” Osial shared.

The priest said the Christmas tradition gives Filipinos in Italy a sense of unity.

“Aside from the traditional reasons we have for attending and completing the Simbang Gabi like in thanksgiving for graces received or petitions for prayers to be granted, the Simbang Gabi is really significant here in Milan as it gives us Filipinos a sense of unity as we gather together in the name of Christ. The Simbang Gabi brings out our Filipino trait of perseverance despite the odds. The Simbang Gabi is an opportunity for catechizing our faithful as it gives us a chance to center our Christmas to Christ,” Osial said.

According to the priest, around 50,000 Filipino migrants are in Northern Italy, and a good number are young people.

“Something that cannot escape notice, especially among Italians, is the inherent religiosity of Filipinos. While migration is basically an economic reality, it has also become an opportunity for new evangelization albeit by accident. And this is because we have brought with us our religious customs and traditions everywhere we go. These include our First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart, our Wednesday novenas to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Holy Week Pabasa, the May Santacruzan, and the Simbang Gabi in the cold December evenings,” Osial said.