ILOILO CITY, Nov. 1o, 2015 – On the occasion of the Solemnity of All Saints and the commemoration of All Souls’ Day, a group of devotees in this city launched a public exposition and solemn veneration of the holy relics of the saints, reminding the faithful of their powerful witnessing.
With the theme “I Believe in the Communion of Saints” the Friends of St. Pope John Paul II made available for public viewing and veneration relics and memorabilia of 30 saints at the Sto. Nino Mission Chapel in downtown Iloilo City.
According to the custodian of the holy relics, Mhark Dominic M. Macaranas of the Jaro Archdiocesan Campus Ministry, “The initial exposition was timed in line with our celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day as well as the Feast of the Sacred Relics which, based on the old Liturgical Calendar, was observed every Nov. 5.”
Significance of the saints
Among the objectives of this religious event, Macaranas explained, is “to make the faithful understand the true meaning and essence of All Saints’ Day in relation to All Souls’ Day and to redirect the people’s attention from the paganized Halloween to the veneration of the saints.”
Macaranas observed that the Church still has to do more “to educate the faithful on the significance of the saints in our time and to introduce the vast array of holy men and women whose examples and virtuous lives are worthy to be followed.”
Friends of St. Pope John Paul II
“In this task, the Friends of St. Pope John Paul II would like to help the Church in bringing the people in closer contact with the saints through their sacred relics and in educating the faithful about the value of the saints’ relics according to the tradition of the Church,” he added.
The Friends of St. Pope John Paul II was organized in Iloilo after the relics of the newly-canonized Popes, St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII, where brought to the city for public veneration on May 20 to 22, 2014.
John Paul II is known to be the Pope who canonized and beatified the most number of saints and blessed, more than all his previous predecessors put together.
Relics for public veneration
In a list provided by the Friends of St. Pope John Paul II, the relics exhibited for public veneration in the Sto. Nino Mission Chapel includes bone fragments of St. Jude Thaddeus and St. Vicent Ferrer, part of the funeral cloth of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta as well as sand from the beach where San Pedro Calungsod was known to be martyred.
The initial exhibit of the holy relics started on Oct. 27 and will conclude on Nov. 12, 2015.
“In order to bring the more people closer to God the sacred relics will also be brought later, upon invitation, to parishes, schools, religious communities and hospitals,” Macaranas added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas / CBCP News)