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Pope Francis declares special Jubilee Year in Cebu for quincentennial

Pope Francis on Monday evening, March 1 Philippine time, granted a request by the Archdiocese of Cebu declaring a Special Jubilee Year in Cebu for the quincentennial celebration of Christianity.

“We pray that as the entire Church in the Philippines, and in particular the Church in Cebu, the Cradle of Christianity in the Far-East, looks forward to the fifth centenary of its evangelization,” the Archdiocese of Cebu said in a statement published on Facebook.

Also granted was a plenary indulgence, which the late Paul VI defined as “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned.”

An indulgence “is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin,” Paul VI said in the apostolic constitution Indulgentiarum Doctrina.

“The same Authority has likewise conceded the Archbishop of Cebu the faculty to impart to the Christian faithful participating the yearlong jubilee celebration, which will start from April 4, 2021 to April 22, 2022, the Apostolic Blessing of His Holiness,” the archdiocese said. 

Cebu is at the center stage in the country’s planned quincentennial celebration as the place where the first Filipinos, Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana of Cebu, became the first indigenous persons of the Philippines at the time baptized into the Catholic faith. 

This event is celebrated every year through the uniquely Cebuano cultural and religious Fiesta Señor and Sinulog Festival, held simultaneously every January.

Officials from the archdiocese said in a statement on March 1 that the activities will kick off on April 4 with a solemn liturgical rite of opening the Holiday Door of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Similar celebrations will take place in 8 other Cebu churches including:

  • St Peter and St. Paul Parish in Bantayan town
  • Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Parish in Boljoon 
  • San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish in Dalaguete
  • St Michael the Archangel Parish in Argao
  • St Catherine de Alexandria Parish in Carcar City 
  • St Anne Parish in Barili
  • San Nicolas Parish in Cebu City
  • National Shrine of St. Joseph Parish in Mandaue City

Church officials said a series of jubilee celebrations in the archdiocesan and parish levels will be organized. These will involve a “socially, spiritually marginalized and peripheries of society, as part of the call to the new evangelization.”

For more information on the quincentennial celebrations in Cebu, visit the official 500 years of Christianity in Cebu Facebook page. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.

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