Sorsogon celebrates 450th anniversary of 1st Catholic mass in Luzon

Karren Canon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2019 08:56 AM

Most Rev. Gabrielle Caccia (5th from right), Papal Nuncio to the Apostolic of the Philippines, led the 450th-anniversary celebration of the first Catholic mass in Luzon in Magallanes town, Sorsogon. Sorsogon Governor and former senator Chiz Escudero (5th from left) also attended the event.

Filipino Catholics celebrated Saturday the 450th anniversary of the first Holy Mass in Luzon, which happened in Sorsogon province in 1569.

Gabrielle Caccia, Papal Nuncio to the Apostolic of the Philippines, led the celebration in Barangay Siuton, Magallanes town.

The Gibalon Shrine dedicated in memory of the first Mass was rehabilitated and designed similar to that of a galleon by the local government.

Sorsogon Governor and former senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero said the shrine was designed just like the galleon used by the Spanish missionary group led by Fray Alonso Jimenez to reach Gibalon Village in 1569. They built a small chapel made of bamboo and nipa during that year and celebrated the very first Holy Mass in Luzon.

Bicolano historian Danny Gerona claimed that the very first miracle in the history of the Philippines happened in Gibalon when the chieftain of the village died and came back to life after four days. 

The chieftain then encouraged the villagers to accept the Christian faith introduced to them by Fr. Jimenez, said Gerona.

There was also a re-enactment and dramatization of the first Mass through a stage performance by Sorsoganons.

The Papal Nuncio said he hopes the faith introduced to the people by Fr. Jimenez and their forefathers centuries ago, will always remain and be strengthened.