MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte on Maundy Thursday reminded Filipinos of the victory found in enduring sacrifice as Catholics worldwide mark the Holy Week while battling a global health crisis.
Duterte urged Filipinos to draw inspiration from the Lenten season to continue persevering in bringing "lasting and transformative change in our society."
"The opportunity for solemn prayer and reflection gives us a magnified view of the victory that is found in enduring sacrifice," he said in his Lenten message.
"By remembering the death of Jesus Christ at the cross, we remind ourselves of the immense power of love and compassion which is able to tear down walls of prejudice, selfishness, and hatred," he added.
Holy Week activities for this year were canceled as the government told people to stay home, and barred mass gatherings due to the spread of COVID-19.
The President said he hopes that Filipinos during the Holy Week will be inspired "to move ahead with faith and peace in our hearts."
"Guided by our sense of hope and grace, may we walk with renewed fervor and faith towards our shared path of a brighter and better future for all," he said.
For this year, Malacañang said President Duterte will spend the Holy Week in Manila so that he could focus on the government's response to the pandemic.
Malacañang earlier declared April 9 (Maundy Thursday) and April 10 (Good Friday) as regular holidays, while April 11 (Black Saturday) is a special non-working day.