By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has encouraged the Filipino Catholic community to draw inspiration from the Blessed Virgin Mary and become “agents of compassion and justice” in society.
The President issued the message in observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. The Marian celebration is a special non-working holiday in the country.
“May you be inspired by the Immaculate Conception to continue fostering peace and understanding among every citizen regardless of their faith or creed. It is my hope that you will remain committed in realizing genuine and lasting change so that everyone may attain their hopes and dreams,” Duterte said.
“As you embody her holy example in your daily lives, I encourage you to work in solidarity to build a progressive, prosperous and inclusive nation,”he added.
Duterte has paid homage to Mary, citing her exemplary life of piety and virtue. He said he hopes Mary’s “selfless service and devotion to her family and absolute faith in the Almighty lights the path for all of us to overcome trying times.”
“I join the entire Filipino Catholic community in celebrating the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary,” he said.
“The Blessed Virgin Mary’s exemplary life of piety and virtue honored today by our Catholic faithful nourishes the spirituality of our people as they in turn become agents of compassion and justice in our society,” he added.
In 2017, the President signed Republic Act No. 10966 declaring December 8 a special non-working holiday to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Catholics believe that Mary, mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin. The declaration of the holiday aims to allow Filipinos to profess their strong devotion to Mary.