In an online talk show “The Jesuit Hour” on August 24, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle shared how the historic Mass in the Vatican at St. Peter’s Basilica ended up being presided over by the Pope.
He revealed that he was supposed to officiate the Mass in the Vatican for the celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines way back in March, but Pope Francis “took it.” (Read: Pope Francis Asks Public To Pray For Afghanistan)
“Sa totoo lang, ako dapat ang magmisa ‘dun eh. Ako inimbitahan eh, ‘nung Filipino community. Noong nalaman ni Pope na para sa Filipino community, sabi niya, ako magmimisa,” the cardinal said.
The love for Filipino Catholics
According to Tagle, the original plan was for him to administer the Mass. When the Pope found out that the Mass was for the Filipino community in Rome, “he took it.”
“Sabi niya, gusto kong kilalanin lalo na ‘yung kontribusyon ng mga pobreng Pilipino, OFW sa iba’t-ibang bahagi ng mundo,” he underscored.
The cardinal signifies the Pope’s eagerness to preside at the Mass in the Vatican to remind the Filipino Catholics to keep their faith and unity despite the crisis that the world is facing. (Read: Pope Francis Grants Plenary Indulgence for 500 Years of PH Christianity)
“Parang ‘yung panawagan na parang ang Diyos na ang gumagawa ng paraan para tayo ay hindi maglakad nang tayo-tayo lamang. Kundi maglakad consciously, deliberately with others lalo na ‘yung mga hindi na nakakakita sa paglakad ni Hesus,” Tagle added.
Words of Pope Francis
During the Mass, Pope Francis hailed Filipinos, mainly migrant workers. He said in his homily that the “joy of the Gospel” The Philippines received 500 years ago is evident in Filipinos.
“We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs, and in your prayers,” the Pope stated. He also thanked the Filipinos for the joy they bring to the whole world and Christian communities.
Pope Francis urged Filipino Catholics to “never be afraid to proclaim the Gospel, to serve and to love.” (Read: WATCH: The Pope’s Homily for 500 Years of PH Christianity)
The Mass in the Vatican was held last March 14 in celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines with a limited audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic.