Pope Francis has granted Archbishop of Cebu José Palma’s request to declare a special jubilee year with plenary indulgence attached to the faithful who participate in the celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
Also known as the Holy Year, a Jubilee Year in the Church is a celebration of very special events, usually of religious origin.
“In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Archdiocese of Cebu, His Holiness Pope Francis, by a decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary, graciously granted a request… to declare within the Archdiocese a Jubilee Year special, as well as the attached plenary indulgence, ”the Archdiocese announced on social networks.
The Pope has also granted Archbishop Palma the power to bestow his papal blessing on the faithful who participate in the jubilee celebrations from April 4, 2021 to April 22, 2022.
A plenary indulgence will also be given to the faithful who attend the festivities and religious services during these dates.
“An indulgence is a surrender before God of the temporal punishment due to sins the guilt of which has already been forgiven which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed acquires under certain conditions prescribed by the action of the Church who, as minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints, ”said the Archdiocese of Cebu, citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Archdiocese said the indulgence would be given under customary conditions, such as when going to confession, receiving Communion, or praying for the Pope’s intentions.
Visiting churches declared by the Archdiocese as places of pilgrimage also gave a faithful the right to receive indulgence.
“The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the conditions customary to Christians who, with a spirit detached from all sin, participate in the celebrations of the Jubilee Year and / or who go with dedication, in the form of pilgrimage, to the 12 declared pilgrimage churches, ”added the Archdiocese of Cebu.
The archdiocese had declared 12 churches throughout Cebu province as places of pilgrimage.
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Activities would include re-enacting the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the island as well as the Battle of Mactan where Magellan died.
Members of the clergy hoped worshipers would join in the celebrations despite pandemic protocols.
“We pray for this because the whole Church in the Philippines, and in particular the Church of Cebu, the cradle of Christianity in the Far East, eagerly awaits the fifth centenary of its evangelization,” said Cebu priest, Father. Mhar Balili.
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