From Staff Reports
Auxiliary Bishop Greg Kelly said Mass at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe Jan. 22 in honor of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines, celebrating as well the feast of Santo Niño de Cebú. Priests, deacons, and families from the Filipino community of the Diocese of Dallas gathered for the celebration.
The Santo Niño de Cebú is a statue that Ferdinand Magellan gave to Juana, wife of the king of Cebú, after their 1521 baptism. It is widely venerated in the Philippines.
In his homily, Bishop Kelly reflected on the arrival of the image of Santo Niño in the Philippines and what it has meant to the People of God in that region.
“This image and the devotion to Santo Niño has been one of the key ways in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ has taken root in the soil of the Philippines,” Bishop Kelly said. “It’s a unique and miraculous means in which the living gospel of Jesus Christ came to birth in the hearts of your ancestors. It has been passed down from one generation to the next, 500 years down to this very day. That faith was born and nurtured in your hearts, you who live here in the Diocese of Dallas and who are a rich part of this local Church.”
In a message to Filipino Catholics around the world in April 2021 as the jubilee year celebrating the anniversary began, Pope Francis asked Filipinos to celebrate the gift of faith and pass it on.
“On this important anniversary of God’s holy people in the Philippines, I also want to urge you to persevere in the work of evangelization,” the pope said. “The Christian proclamation that you have received needs constantly to be brought to others.
“Be grateful for the gift of faith. Thank God for the people who gave you the faith and for all those to whom you will pass it on in turn,” Pope Francis said. “Renew your enthusiasm for evangelization. Reach out to others and bring them the hope and joy of the Gospel.”
Find more photos from the Mass in our photo gallery.