A call for ho­li­ness

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Ador Vin­cent Mayol DAY DESK/WRIT­ING ED­I­TOR

AS CE­BUANOS on Thurs­day wel­comed the un­cor­rupted heart relic of Saint Padre Pio, Cebu Arch­bishop Jose Palma called on the peo­ple to im­plore the saint’s in­ter­ces­sion for an end to the se­ries of killings in the is­land.

“We bring to him our hopes for peace. If we come be­fore St. Padre Pio’s heart, with our hearts open for change, some­thing beau­ti­ful will hap­pen. With God, noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble,” said the 68-yearold prelate in his homily dur­ing the Mass to wel­come the sa­cred relic at the Cebu Met­ro­pol­i­tan Cathe­dral in down­town Cebu City.

Thou­sands of peo­ple trooped to the Cebu Met­ro­pol­i­tan Cathe­dral on Thurs­day to ven­er­ate

Saint Padre Pio’s first­class relic.

Un­der the heat of the sun, peo­ple, in­clud­ing stu­dents, waved white and yel­low fla­glets as the saint’s un­cor­rupted heart ar­rived at the cathe­dral at around 10 a.m.

The church bells pealed as mem­bers of the renowned Sandiego Dance Troupe danced the Sin­u­log to wel­come Saint Padre Pio’s relic heart.

Palma then presided over the wel­come Mass in­side the jam packed Cathe­dral of the Most Holy Name of Je­sus with Bish­ops Os­car Floren­cio, An­to­nio Rañola, Daniel Pa­trick Par­con, and Bue­naven­tura Fa­madico, and about 30 priests as con­cel­e­brants.

In his homily, Palma en­cour­aged the peo­ple to emu­late St. Padre Pio’s love for God and neigh­bor, oth­er­wise the visit of the saint’s relic in Cebu would amount to noth­ing.

“His (St. Padre Pio) heart beats for the love of God and God’s peo­ple. He’s a man of prayer and great ser­vice who of­fers God’s mercy and for­give­ness,” he said.

“The peo­ple vis­ited by this saint must also be­come saints. Oth­er­wise, his visit to Cebu will go down the drains. We are called to be holy. Hence, we must re­new our­selves and be holy,” he added.

The re­li­gious relic, which ar­rived in the Philip­pines on Fri­day night last week, vis­ited Manila be­fore it was brought to Cebu on Thurs­day.

To­day, it will be trans- ferred from the Cebu Cathe­dral to the IC3 Pavil­ion in Mabolo, Cebu City where it will stay un­til Sun­day.

Af­ter that, devo­tees in Davao will get the chance to ven­er­ate the relic.

The relic will stay for an­other week at the Na­tional Shrine of Saint Padre Pio in Batan­gas be­fore it leaves the coun­try on Oc­to­ber 26.

The visit of St. Padre Pio’s heart relic co­in­cided with the Ital­ian priest’s 50th death an­niver­sary, as well as the cen­ten­nial an­niver­sary of the ap­pear­ance the stig­mata or the wound marks of Je­sus on his palms, feet, and side.

Padre Pio, a Ca­puchin priest in Italy, was known for his charity and love for God and neigh­bor.

CDN PHOTO/ TONEE DESPOJO

The pro­ces­sion of the heart relic of St. Padre Pio was at­tended by thou­sands of faith­ful along down­town Cebu City and back to the Cebu Met­ro­pol­i­tan Cathe­dral.

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