Angeles exhibit features Church’s pop artists: Saints
ANGELES CITY — More than 150 relics of Catholic saints and the beatified had been loaned to the Holy Angel University (HAU) for public viewing starting on Monday (Oct. 2).
HAU’s Oratory of the Sacred Relics, touted as the biggest relics collection in Luzon, includes the bones, hair, flesh or clothing of saints, among them Christian theologian St. Augustine and his mother, Monica, Jesuits Francis Xavier and Ignatius of Loyola and philosopher and writer St. Thomas Aquinas.
The oratory also displays relics of the Apostles, Our Lady and
St. Joseph, Dominic, Therese of Lisieux, Maria Goretti, Tarcisius and Anthony de Padua as well as contemporary saints like Padre Pio, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II.
Also among the troves to be viewed is a piece of the cross on which Christ was believed to have been crucified.
Don Mauro Gomez, a Catholic leader, loaned the relics which he acquired from the Vatican with the help of his aunt who was a member of the Daughters of Divine Zeal in Rome, and Fr. Dennis Duene Ruiz, the definitor-general of the Order of the Discalced (unshod) Augustinians in Rome, said Robby Tantingco, executive director of HAU’s Center for Kapampangan Studies.
500 years of Christianity
Ruiz used to work for the Monasterio de Santa Lucia, the official custodian and laboratory for relics in the Vicariate of Rome. He is now in charge of the congregation’s causes of saints and management of relics.
Ruiz put up the Chapel of the Holy Relics in Cebu and the Hermanidad de la Correa y de Sta. Rita de Cascia.
Tantingco said HAU established the oratory to “promote devotion to saints as models of Christian virtue.” Since 2013, HAU students have worn costumes of saints instead of horror movie characters during Halloween.
Archbishop Florentino Lavarias of the Archdiocese of San Fernando in Pampanga province is set to bless the oratory on Monday, in time for HAU’s countdown to the 500th anniversary of the Christianization of the Philippines and the 450th anniversary of the Christianization of Pampanga in 2021.
The relics are enshrined in a retablo (a wooden altar with several niches of saints) made by JB Woodcraft of Betis.
Public viewing is on Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. —Tonette Orejas
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