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IN PHOTOS: Pope Francis joins Filipino Catholics in marking 500 years of Christianity in PH

Tiziana Fabi via AFP/ Reuters

Posted at Mar 14 2021 09:34 PM

Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

A limited number of migrant Filipinos and leaders of the Philippine Catholic Church led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, joined Pope Francis during the celebration as the pontiff expressed gratitude to Filipino Catholics for their “discreet and hardworking presence” in spreading the word of God. 

The Pope urged Filipino Catholics to have the courage to commit to the Church’s mission to evangelize. “Never be afraid to proclaim the Gospel, to serve and to love. With your joy, you will help people to say of the Church too: ‘she so loved the world!’”

The Catholic Church in the Philippines is set to launch the year-long commemoration of the arrival of Christianity in the country with the National Quincentennial Celebration of the First Easter Mass on April 4.

Pope Francis granted plenary indulgence for the 500 years of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines through a decree issued on Feb. 25 to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The faithful can receive plenary indulgence when they make a devotional pilgrimage to one of the designated “Jubilee Churches” until April 22, 2022.


Here are select images during the Eucharistic celebration.

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Pope Francis arrives to hold a mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi, Pool via AFP

Members of the Philippine community arrive to take part in the Pope's mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi, Pool via AFP

Pope Francis holds a mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi/Pool via Reuters

Members of the Philippine community attend a mass held by Pope Francis to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi/Pool via Reuters

Pope Francis celebrates the Eucharist during a mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi, Pool via AFP

Members of the Philippine community attend the Pope's mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi, Pool via AFP

Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle addresses a message to Pope Francis during a mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi/Pool via Reuters

Pope Francis holds a mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi, Pool via AFP

Pope Francis thanks Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle during a mass to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, at St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi/Pool via Reuters