QUEZON City, September 17, 2014 — A Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated this Sunday, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, in solidarity with the persecuted Christians of Iraq and Syria.
Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Joseph – Una Voce Philippines (SEDSI – UVP) chairman Gerald Cenir said the Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite or more commonly known as the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) was celebrated at Holy Family Parish Church, Roxas District, Quezon City as a “spiritual bouquet” for the persecuted Christians of the two middle East countries.
On September 5, the bishops of the Philippines through Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates Villegas declared September 14 a National Day of Prayer for Peace in Iraq and Syria. All masses in the Philippines were offered for the Christians of Iraq and Syria. A special charity collection for the persecuted Christians was also conducted.
“We answered the call of the bishops of the Philippines to hold a day of prayer for our Christian brothers and sisters of Iraq and Syria who are being brutally murdered just because they are Christians,” Cenir said.
Holy Family parish priest and Sedsi-UVP spiritual director Fr. Jojo Zerrudo said the Mass was also held in thanksgiving to God for the Motu propio of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, which liberalized the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass throughout the Universal Church. “It was on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross that Summorum Pontificum took effect. It was only fitting that we thank God for the gift of Summorum Pontificum on this day,” Fr. Zerrudo said.
A relic of the True Cross under the care of Fr. Zerrudo was exposedand venerated following the Mass at the Oratory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, located inside the parish church.
Prayed during the exposition of the relic was the petition for peace for all persecuted Christians.
The intercession of saints who suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Saracens and Muslims was also invoked for the special intention.
The Sedsi-UVP has also organized prayer vigils and processions for the persecuted Christians of Iraq and Syria. A procession was held on the feast of St. James the Apostle, July 25, after the TLM. Last August 1 and September 5, Sedsi-UVP sponsored a first Friday TLM, Eucharistic Adoration, Exposition and Benediction for the persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians. The parish also set-up a billboard supporting the persecuted Christians. (Rommel Lopez)