On Feast of Immaculate Conception, Duterte reminds Filipinos to be humble, faithful
MANILA, Philippines – As Christians celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded Filipinos to remain humble and faithful "for the people."
In his message on Saturday, December 8, Duterte paid homage to Mary and described her as "selfless" when she accepted the invitation to be Jesus Christ's mother "so that the plan of salvation be realized."
Duterte also called on Filipinos to emulate the values of Mary.
"Let us emulate Mary's qualities as a humble and caring person and remain guided by her faithfulness as we strengthen our devotion and nurture our lives with unconditional love and good deeds that will benefit the Filipino people," the President said.
Duterte called Mary "the epitome of faith and source of inspiration" for many Christians, especially during challenging times.
In 2017, Duterte declared December 8 a special non-working holiday. For Catholics, it is a holy day of obligation, or a day wherein believers are expected to hear and attend Mass.
The message on Saturday came amid Duterte's latest tirades against the Catholic Church. On Thursday, December 6, the President said in the guise of a joke that bishops "should be killed" for criticizing his administration.
Read the President's message in full below:
I join the entire Filipino Catholic Community in commemorating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
Every year, our thoughts and hearts unite to celebrate the life of the Virgin Mary whose simplicity, kindness, and humility we truly adore and admire. Since the advent of Christianity in the Philippines, she has been the epitome of faith and a souce of inspiration for our people, especially during times of challenges and uncertainties.
May the narrative of her Immaculate Conception be a constant reminder of her selflessness when she accepted the invitation to become the mother of Christ so that the plan of salvation would be realized.
Let us emulate Mary's qualities as a humble and caring person and remain guided by her faithfulness as we strengthen our devotion and nurture our lives with unconditional love and good deeds that will benefit the Filipino people.
I wish you a happy and meaningful occasion. – Aika Rey/Rappler.com