13 ‘Holy Doors’ in Cebu opened
CEBU CITY – “Holy doors” in 13 historic churches in Cebu were opened on Easter Sunday to mark the start of the year-long celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the country.
Anyone who passes through the Holy Doors, and has recently gone to confession, received Holy Communion, and prayed for the intercession of the Holy Father and the Church will receive plenary indulgence or complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sins, according to Rev. Fr. Glenn Therese Guanzon, chairperson of the committee on liturgy of the Cebu archdiocese.
While only cathedrals have Holy Doors, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma designated 12 other parishes in Cebu as “Jubilee churches” so more people can receive God’s mercy and grace.
In his homily, Palma encouraged the faithful to deepen their spirituality even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID brings fear but also deep in our hearts, our love for Christ strengthens our faith. COVID may bring death but the risen Lord brings us life,” the prelate said.
“We profess that our faith is stronger than our fear. Our light in the midst of darkness. Our light even in the midst of fear,” he added.
At the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Palma led the opening of the Holy Door which was followed by a Eucharistic celebration at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Since Cebu is under modified general community quarantine, only 50 percent of the cathedral’s capacity were allowed to enter the church.
Aside from the cathedral, the other churches which have Holy Doors are the San Nicolas Parish in Cebu City, the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Rule in Lapu-Lapu City, San Vicente Ferrer Parish in Bogo City, Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Danao City, St. Michael the Archangel Church in Argao town, San Fransisco de Asis church in Balamban, Patrocinio de Maria Parish in Boljoon town, St Catherine of Alexandria church in Carcar City, St. Peter and Paul Church on Bantayan Island, St. Anne Church in Barili town, and, San Guillermo de Aquitana Church in Dalaguete town.
On April 14, a reenactment of the first Christian baptism in Philippine soil will be held at Plaza Sugbo located in between the Cebu City Hall and the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
The park is where the Magellan’s Cross is located.
At 4 p.m., a Pontifical Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Charles John Brown, the papal nuncio to the Philippines, in front of the kiosk that houses the cross that was planted by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan upon his arrival in Cebu in 1521.
Brown will be joined by several other bishops from the different dioceses of the Philippines.
There will also be national government officials who will attend the celebration.
President Duterte was expected to send a representative to the event.
Aside from commemorating the first baptism in the Philippines, April 14 also marks the 500th year of the arrival of the Sto. Niño which was given as baptismal gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521.
While physical activities are allowed, the archdiocese has set alternative plans in case there will be stringent restrictions if COVID-19 cases surge in Cebu.
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