The Philippines celebrates its 500th anniversary of the very first Easter Mass on the Limasawa Island Southern Leyte. The site was said to be the earliest recorded place of the Catholic Mass being held in the entire country.
To commemorate the quincentennial of the first Easter Mass, yesterday, March 31, the Diocese of Maasin, headed by Bishop Prescioso Cantillas celebrated a Pontifical Mass at the Magallanes Shrine.
Bishop Prescioso Cantillas of Maasin said in his homily, that the event that occurred in the island town of Limasawa tells of God's love for Filipinos.
“We need to remind ourselves that the meaning and value of the sacrifice we faced just to celebrate today’s great historical event is the reality of the wonderful love of God for you and me,” Bishop Prescioso Cantillas said.
Before the Mass started, a fluvial procession of the pilgrim image of Señor Santo Niño de Cebu was held to Limasawa Island, accompanied by Catholic Bishops.
Casillas said to people that in the Eucharist, the faithful must "deepen and intensify" their faith and love for Jesus, as he lamented "the betrayals by many people including ourselves of the Eucharistic Lord in many forms and expressions".
On the other hand, due to the current travel restriction that the government implemented recently, Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, couldn't make it to lead the historical Mass.
Brown announced his message to the people of Limasawa and all the Filipinos on the celebration of the 500th year of the First Easter Mass.
He said," Five hundred years after the first Mass was offered in the archipelago, the Church in the Philippines is invited anew to go forth and become a community of authentic missionary disciples".
Hundred of pilgrims, priests, and officials, went to Limasawa Island to celebrate and attend the solemn mass and the thanksgiving program as part of the First Circumnavigation of the World as well as the arrival of the Christian Faith on the shores of the Philippines.
This Easter Sunday, the country is welcoming 500 Jubilee Churches as a way to mark the quincentennial commemorations for the arrival of the Christian Faith in 1521.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) leads the celebration of the Philippines' Quincentennial Commemorations as well as the state-led celebrations for the Victory of Mactan and the role of the Philippines in the circumnavigation of the world.
Source: Good News Pilipinas