PALO, Leyte, Feb. 11, 2015 -– “Life anchored in the Eucharist gives light, gives guidance and gives affection to everybody.”
This is how Palo Archbishop John Du said in his homily during recent a Eucharistic celebration at the Cathedral of Our Lord of Transfiguration on the occasion of the ongoing visit of the pilgrim image of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in the Dioceses of Palo, which will then head to Borongan.
He said Jesus, who is present in the Holy Eucharist, gives the people the light that will not disappear in whatever trials they encounter in life.
The prelate stressed the significance of the Eucharist, which is Christ Himself, as a sacrament that unites all the people, one which likewise brings people closer to God.
“If we are in close contact with God, we never feel isolated,” he said.
The 51st IEC which is slated on Jan. 24 to 31 next year, to be hosted by the Archdiocese of Cebu, has The Cross of Magellan enshrined in gazebo-type structure, a miniature of the one in Mactan Cebu near the Cathedral.
The Cross of Magellan was chosen to be the icon of the 51st IEC because it symbolizes the start of the Christianization of the Philippines in 1521.
Cross of Magellan
It also has embedded in it a relic of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
“It is when we embrace the Cross of the Lord that Jesus comes to be in us, thus the theme of the Congress ‘Christ in us is our hope of glory’,” the 51st IEC Catechesis states.
It added that the “Cross journeys among the people, with the roads and grounds made holy once again.”
The Shrine that contains the Cross of Magellan, meanwhile, symbolizes the Church. “The Church is the mystical Body of Christ.” When the church celebrates the Eucharist, “Christ is truly in us, our Hope of Glory.”
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, former prelate of the Archdiocese of Palo, said in the IEC Catechesis: “The visit of the symbol is a “visit of God with the various liturgical celebration centered on the Holy Eucharist.
The pilgrim symbol arrived in the Palo Cathedral on Feb. 9 after a visit to Ormoc City. It earlier stopped in parish churches in the Dioceses of Maasin, then proceeded to Naval.
Its pilgrimage began on Jan. 25 in the Diocese of Dumaguete, then Siquijor, Tagbilaran, and Talibon. From the Palo Cathedral, the pilgrim symbol was brought on Feb. 10 to the Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban and will brought in the early morning of Feb. 11 to Lawaan, Eastern Samar for the Diocese of Borongan leg, then on to the Dioceses of Calbayog and Catarman before proceeding to the Diocese of Sorsogon.
Based on the IEC 2016 Symbol National Journey, the pilgrim image will have its last stops in the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo and the Archdiocese of Zamboanga in November this year before returning to the Archdiocese of Cebu.
In all of these stops, parishes are encouraged to hold welcome and departure Masses, Eucharistic Adoration vigils and other para-liturgical celebrations to venerate the Cross. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCPNews)