‘Be like Sta. Rita’ – bishop

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PARAÑAQUE City, May 23, 2014—“Let us all be saints. Let us all be like Santa Rita de Cascia, the saint of the impossible.”

This was the resounding appeal made Thursday, May 22, the feast of Saint Rita of Cascia, by Parañaque Bishop Jesse E. Mercado at the Santa Rita de Cascia Parish Church in Barangay Baclaran, where he presided over a mass attended by city mayor Edwin Olivarez and family, local officials, and hundreds of the faithful.

A parishioner prepares a statue of Sta. Rita of Cascia for procession. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

In Filipino, Mercado discussed how anyone, even the most ordinary Catholics, could become saints, provided they have the will, the courage, and the faith to “take up their crosses”.

Also, Matthew 5:48 reads, “Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

The bishop pointed out, “Do not think that sainthood is just the privilege of the few…As Catholic Christians, we are always called to holiness. It is a state we should all aspire for.”

According to the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, “All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.”

Mercado, who also chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on the Laity, shared. “Santa Rita best exemplified the ordinary person who had done the most extraordinary thing. She was just an otherwise obscure housewife and mother who had given everything up, including her desire to become a religious, for the sake, first of her parents, then of her abusive husband and children.”

“But what made Santa Rita stand out was her extraordinary faith, her deep devotion, her obedience, her persistence…After losing all her loved ones, she did what was thought impossible—she became a religious when monasteries, then as now, as a general rule accept only unmarried, chaste novices,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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