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PHILIPPINES: 500 Years of evangelization

Preparations to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Gospel in the Philippines (in 1521) are underway throughout the country: “To prepare oneself properly for this important event, the Church in the Philippines has set a nine-year cycle (from 2013 to 2021) that will culminate with the celebration of the Holy Year of the 500th Anniversary, 2021,” explains Msgr. Socrates C. Mesiona, Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Princesa, in the island of Palawan.

The event will be an opportunity to revive the missionary character of the Philippine Church: “We received the gift of the Christian faith through the missionaries who came to our land; now the baptized in the Philippines are called to give it to others,” explains the Bishop, who is the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Philippines.

“It is interesting,” recalls the Bishop, “that thousands of Filipino Catholic priests, religious and lay people are already missionaries all over the world. Among the congregations that send missionaries abroad, we have the Missionary Society of the Philippines, the Lay Missionaries of the Philippines, and hundreds of other institutes and religious orders (male and female) born locally, that are engaged in preaching the Gospel.”

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