Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal will be laid to rest on Thursday, hailed as a voice for peace during 2 of the Philippines' largest political upheavals.
An estimated 12,000 people filled the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at the funeral mass for the beloved Roman Catholic Church leader, who died on Oct. 18 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 86.
Vidal played peacemaker during the bloodless People Power uprisings of 1986 and 2001, that resulted to changes in the country's leadership.
"You once told us that, 'We quarrel with people because we allow our prejudices to cloud our judgment. What we do not understand, we fear," said Cebu Auxiliary bishop Dennis Villarojo, his former secretary.
"You believed the quarrels are always man-made and the best way to resolve them is not in the impersonal, and often brutal battlefield of the airwaves or the social media, but face-to-face, heart-to-heart," Villarojo said.
"The moral high ground you took enabled you to broker peace among the warring faction knowing that some of our quarrels are not really based on principles but personalities," Villarojo said.
The Auxiliary bishop ended his eulogy by thanking his former boss for sharing his "gift in peace making."
"Rest now, faithful servant. You are truly a child of God," he said.
Vidal served as a priest for 61 years, nearly 3 decades of which he served as archbishop of Cebu before he retired in 2011.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared October 26 a holiday in Cebu for the burial of the late Archbishop Emeritus whom he described as a “person of peace” whose “language was always something about spreading love.”