Albayanos pay homage to Pope John Paul II’s relics in Cathedral

A poster during the Pontiff’s short visit in the city of Legaspi.

LEGAZPI CITY, April 27 — A big crowd of parishioners of the Saint Gregory the Great Parish here is expected to gather at the Albay Cathedral to join the procession at 3:00 p.m. Sunday and the Pontifical Mass led by Bishop Joey “Bong” Baylon at 4:00 p.m. for the canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

The procession will be held from the Albay Cathedral to the Albay Astrodome.


The mammoth audience during the historic visit 33 years ago of Blessed Pope John Paul II in Legazpi City, where he conducted a Holy Mass outside the Albay Cathedral to accommodate tens of thousands of parishioners that flocked here to see him, is expected to be repeated Sunday.

Before the canonization of Pope John Paul II, his relics and memorabilia have been displayed at the museum of the Diocese of Legazpi as the Pope left behind lasting memories during his visit in Albay province in 1981, which will surely be pondered upon by the Bicolanos.

Parishioners of the St. Gregory the Great in Albay have been flocking here every day to visit the Pope’s relics and memorabilia.

Fr. Rex Arjona, social action executive director of the Diocese of Legazpi, said the photos and objects used by Pope John Paul II during his visit at the Albay Cathedral in this city on Feb. 21, 1981 are exhibited at the cathedral in celebration of his canonization.

Since April 24 to date, the Diocese of Legazpi led by Bishop Baylon has been holding Triduum of Masses in all parishes of the diocese in preparation for the canonization.

Evening reflections and talks regarding the life and teachings of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII in parishes, chapels and oratories by ecclesiastical communities and religious groups have been done here.

In his Facebook wall, Arjona cited Blessed John Paul II’s legacy as the first non-Italian pontiff in 455 years.

“In particular, his global ministry quickly focused on Vatican II’s engagement with modern culture. As for teaching, the Pope has penned three major encyclicals on economic and social justice issues and has addressed the rich-poor imbalance continent by continent in post-synodal documents,” the priest said.

Over the last 10 years, Arjona said, the pope had also authored three other encyclicals that strongly challenged what he saw as a prevailing moral relativism in post-modern society.

“Veritatis Splendor” (1993) spoke of the truth of the Church’s moral teachings, “Evangelium Vitae” (1995) defended the inviolability of human life against what the Pope called a “culture of death,” and “Fides et Ratio” (1998) argued that human reason cannot be detached from faith in God, he added.

Meanwhile, under his guidance, Vatican agencies have issued important instructions on such specific questions as foreign debt, in vitro fertilization, the arms industry, the role of the mass media and the impact of the Internet, Arjona said. (PNA)


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