Mercy, compassion highlighted in St. John Paul II feast

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BACOLOD City, Oct. 22, 2014 –The Diocese of Bacolod’s first feast day celebration of St. John Paul II, a man of mercy and compassion himself, will highlight these twin values with a feeding program and a Holy Mass today, Oct. 22.

Volunteers help mount a 7-foot statue of St. John Paul II in a newly-dedicated church to the saint in Tabao,Valladolid. (Photo: Fr. Arnold Deletina)

In line with the theme of the forthcoming visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines “Mercy and Compassion”, a feeding program for street children and other children coming from various depressed areas of the San Sebastian Cathedral Parish will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Oct. 22, the date of St. John Paul II’s inauguration as Pope in 1978 after his election to the Petrine Ministry, at the St. John Paul II Tower and Shrine located in the BREDCO Reclamation Area.

During St. John Paul II’s visit to Bacolod, the Pope delivered a powerful message condemning the social injustice that prevailed at the time.

“Until now, the message of St. John Paul II holds true for us because of the dire economic situation of our unfortunate brothers and sisters. Our celebration of his feast day serves as a reminder for the need to continually struggle against oppressive poverty and to fight for social justice and equality.” San Sebastian Cathedral
rector Fr. Felix Pasquin explained.

To highlight the significance of the celebration, Pasquin, said, “St. John Paul II is particularly close to the heart of the people of Negros and Bacolod because of his visit to Bacolod City in 1981 upon the invitation of the late Bishop Antonio Y. Fortich.”

The feeding program will be followed by a concelebrated Mass at 5:00 p.m., after which, a procession will be held in honor of the saint.

A Triduum Masses in honor of St. John Paul II started on Oct. 19, Sunday, and ended on Oct. 21, Tuesday, at the San Sebastian Cathedral at 5:15 pm.

This liturgical celebration will be held for the first time for the Pope who was canonized together with St. John XXIII, last April 27. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

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