Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle led the opening of the Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral to venerate the blood relic of St. John Paul II.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle urged the Catholic faithful to find Jesus Christ and to welcome St. John Paul II, a figure much loved by many Filipinos.
St. John Paul II visited the Philippines twice: in 1981 for the beatification of San Lorenzo Ruiz, and in 1995 for the World Youth Day. The pontiff died in 2005 and was canonized in 2014.
“Let’s welcome St. Pope John Paul II to our hearts as we Filipinos are very welcome to his heart,” he said.
After the mass, the congregation was given the opportunity to see the blood relic. The elderly and persons with disability were given priority, like Eleonor Leanado.
“Talagang ganoon na lang ang naramdaman ko, sobrang blessed ako at nakalapit ako sa kabila ng kondisyon ko,” Leanado said.
Sister Dolly Daquilanea, meanwhile, shared that she had the chance to attend masses held by St. John Paul II during his visit in Manila.
She considers this her third encounter with the late pontiff, who is now a saint.
“Overwhelmed ako talaga at para ko siyang nalapitan muli,” she said.
The blood relic will be at the Manila Cathedral until Sunday.