The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is encouraging the faithful to join Pope Francis at 5 p.m. today, March 14, as the Pontiff celebrates the Holy Mass for the commemoration of the 500 years of Christianity in the country.
The Holy Father will be joined by Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the pope’s vicar of Rome, in the Eucharistic celebration.
Because of the pandemic, only about 100 people will be allowed to attend the mass at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City at 10 a.m. (5 p.m. in Manila) today. The CBCP said, the Eucharistic celebration will be streamed live from the Vatican to reach millions of Filipinos in different parts of the world.
The CBCP has released a mass booklet for the celebration. The booklet, which is available online (https://pcfroma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/210312-Pope-Francis-March-14-Mass-booklet.pdf), has texts and songs in Italian, English, Filipino, Cebuano and Latin.
Fr. Greg Gaston of the Pontificio Colegio Filippino said Pope Francis is scheduled to pray the Angelus at 12 noon. “The Angelus will be televised and streamed online so our friends and relatives might see us back home,” Gaston said as he urged Filipinos who will be able to attend the special mass physically to bring Philippine flags.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said Pope Francis’ mass for the commemoration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines “is a huge blessing, privilege, and inspiration for Filipino Catholics around the world.”