On Saturday, February 6, the Archdiocese of Manila finally opened its year-long celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. The event was held in conjunction with the 442nd anniversary of the establishment of Manila as the country’s first-ever diocese.
To commemorate the special day, a Holy Mass was celebrated in the Manila Cathedral. It was presided by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, together with Archbishop Charles Brown, the Apostolic Nuncio.
Manila city mayors, priests of the Archdiocese, and representatives from nearby parishes and religious communities were also present at the event. (Read: Meet the My Pope Philippines Outstanding Parish Priests of 2021)
500 Years Mission Cross
Apart from opening the celebrations for the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, the event also highlighted the wearing of the 500 years “Mission Cross,” which bears the name of Jesus that is inscribed in Roman characters and ancient Baybayin script.
Local chief executives and community members from the Archdiocese of Manila participated in the ceremonial wearing and giving of the Mission Cross. Most of whom are representatives from the Archdiocese’s designated pilgrim churches. (Read: Manila Archdiocese Names 10 Pilgrim Churches for 500 Years of PH Christianity)
“This symbolizes the encounter of the faith from Western missionaries and our own culture and life, resulting in a colorful and vibrant Filipino faith that now becomes our contribution to the universal Church,” the Archdiocese said.
‘We Give Our Yes’
To cap off the event, Filipina singer Jamie Rivera sang the theme song for 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines in front of a live audience. (Read: Jamie Rivera Sings the Theme Song for 500 Years of PH Christianity)
The song, titled “We Give Our Yes,” was performed in partnership between the Manila Archdiocese and Star Music Philippines. It was composed by Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo and produced by ABS-CBN Music creative director Jonathan Manalo.
The national celebrations for the quintessential anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines will officially kick off on Easter Sunday, April 4. Details of the celebration are yet to be announced by Church authorities. (Read: 500th Year Celebration of PH Christianity to Push Through This April)