MANILA - Pope Francis has granted the Archdiocese of Cebu's request to declare a "special jubilee year" in the archdiocese, along with the attached plenary indulgence, as the Catholic Church celebrates the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
The Cebu Archdiocese said in a statement Monday that the Pope approved Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma's request for faculty to impart Apostolic blessing of the Holy Father to the faithful who will participate in the year-long jubilee celebration, which will start on April 4, 2021 until April 22, 2022.
According to the archdiocese, an "indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven" and it's gained by the faithful who follow "certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church."
"The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Jubilee Year celebrations and/or who devotedly make a visit, in the form of a pilgrimage, to the 12 declared pilgrim churches," it said.
The Cebu bishopric said it will solemnly launch the festivities, through a liturgical rite. This includes opening the "Holy Door" of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Similar celebrations will be held at the following churches:
- Sts. Peter and Paul Parish (Bantayan, Bantayan island)
- San Nicolas Parish (Cebu City)
- St. Catherine de Alexandria Parish (Carcar City)
- Patrocinio de Maria Parish (Boljoon)
- St. Anne Parish (Barili)
- National Shrine of St. Joseph Parish (Mandaue City)
- San Guillermo de Aquitana Parish (Dalaguete)
- St. Michael the Archangel Parish (Argao)
The Cebu Archdiocese said the following churches will be declared pilgrim sites:
- Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish (Danao City)
- St. Vincent Ferrer Parish (Bogo City)
- St. Francis of Assisi Parish (Balamban)
- National Shrine of Our Lady of Rule (Lapu-lapu City)
"Furthermore, a series of jubilee celebrations in the archdiocesan and parish levels will also be organized, which will involved socially, spiritually marginalized and peripheries of society, as part of the call to the new evangelization," the archdiocese said.
The national quincentennial celebration of the First Easter Mass in the Philippines on April 4, 2021 will serve as the kick-off event of the Catholic Church’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines (500 YOC) with all parishes all over the Philippines observing the simultaneous opening of the Jubilee Year.
Designated churches in every diocese will have Jubilee churches where the Jubilee doors will be opened.
The closing activity of the Jubilee year will be held on April 18-22, 2022 for the Second National Mission Congress in Cebu City where the Papal Legate or personal representative of the Pope will be invited.
Several online activities connected to 500 YOC have been lined up throughout the year, including a virtual pilgrimage, webinars on Mission for Youth, lecture series on Philippine Church history, webinars on Mission for Ecclesial Movements, Mission for Clergy, as well as Mission for CLE Teachers, Campus Ministers and Catechists.