MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. described the Blessed Virgin Mary as the "patroness" of the Philippines as he greeted the Filipino faithful on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Thursday.
In his message, Marcos urged Filipinos to let their shared experience shape history and "put our trust in one another."
"In the intersection of these things, we will certainly learn where to hold on and gain greater courage. Together, let us gracefully anticipate the promises of a brighter and more comfortable future as we work hard and pray for guidance so that we can march onwards the road of progress to ensure a better future for our families, neighbors, and all Filipinos," he said.
"Like Mary, may we also strive to resign from our individualistic tendencies and aspire to generously give ourselves without expecting anything in return. In the end, what we can bring into our everlasting home are those we cherish deep in our hearts, not the possessions we can only hold in our hands," he added.
Marcos expressed optimism that despite the uncertainty of the near future, Filipinos will soon understand their purpose behind their journeys and the will of God for each person.
"As we honor the patroness of our country and rejoice in the revelry of this celebrated feast, may we remind ourselves to revisit our reason for being and search for our vocation in the spirit of unconditional obedience and abiding love," he said.
Dec. 8 is a special non-working holiday in the country in observation of the feast, which commemorates the Catholic belief of Mary's freedom from original sin from the moment of her conception.
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