Duterte to Filipinos: Be kind amid trying times
President Duterte on Tuesday greeted Filipinos during the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, principal patroness of the Philippines, with a plea to be steadfast and kind amid trying times.
In his message released by Malacañang, Mr. Duterte called on the faithful to “draw strength from the holy life and example of the Virgin Mary so we may remain steadfast, joyous and hopeful amidst the many challenges we face today as a nation.”
“Today, the Catholic community celebrates the purity of Mary’s birth, a characteristic that made her worthy to become the mother of Christ. Beyond the narrative of this doctrine, this feast is also an affirmation of the virtues of a mother’s pure and unconditional love,” he said.
“May her Immaculate Conception guide us all, whatever faith we may hold, to be kind to one another during these trying times as we look forward to a better future in this life and beyond,” the President added.
It was Mr. Duterte who signed Republic Act No. 10966 in December 2017, which declared the feast as a special nonworking holiday throughout the country.
Pope Clement XIII declared the Virgin Mary, under the title of Immaculate Conception, as the patroness of Spain and the Indies, which includes the Philippines, in 1760. She was declared principal patroness of the Philippines by Pope Pius XII in September 1942, replacing Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Immaculate Conception refers to the dogma that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, was free from original sin from the moment she was conceived. The feast is a holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church.
Aside from the Philippines, other countries also have the Immaculate Conception as their patroness by pontifical decree, including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain and Uruguay. INQ
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