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Blessed are the Merciful

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum


Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Pope Francis wants to talk about mercy during the World Youth Day 2016 (WYD 2016), the youth event held in Krakow, Poland from July 25, to 31.He chose the theme “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”Of the 1.6 Million WYD 2016 pilgrims, 2,000 came from the Philippines.

During the vigil with the youth, Pope Francis told them to leave a mark in history; that the Lord called all of them together. The Pope’s advice is that the response to a world at war is fraternity, brotherhood, communion and family. Coming from different cultures, the pilgrims come together to pray, as in unity in prayer.

Pope Francis enlighten the youth that “Jesus is inviting them, calling them, to leave their mark on life, to leave a mark on history, their own and that of many others as well. Life nowadays tells us that it is much easier to concentrate on what divides us. Today, we adults need you to teach us how to live in diversity, in dialogue, to experience multiculturalism not as a threat but an opportunity. Have the courage to teach us that it is easier to build bridges than walls!”

Pope Francis mentioned the three testimonies of “persons who had experienced living through great fear, knowing that leaving home might mean never again seeing their loved ones, the fear of not feeling appreciated or loved, the fear of having no choices.” He went on to say that “once we feel that way, our fear starts to fester and is joined by its “twin sister”, paralysis: the feeling of being paralyzed. When we are paralyzed, we miss the magic of encountering others, making friends, sharing dreams, walking at the side of others.”


During the WYD 2016 Closing Mass at Campus Misericordiae in Brzegy, Poland Pope Francis told the youth pilgrims that they come to Krakow to meet Jesus. He stated that the day’s Gospel speaks of the meeting in Jericho between Jesus and Zacchaeus, When he told Zacchaeus to come down for he will stay in his house, “Jesus extends the same invitation to you. Jesus calls you, as he did Zacchaeus, by name. Your name is precious to him. May we too now try to imitate the faithful memory of God and treasure the good things we have received in these days. So let us now pray silently, remembering and thanking the Lord wanted us to be here and has come here to meet us.”


During our Diocese of Kalookan radio program “Hello Father 911 Saturday Edition” at Radyo Veritas 846, my co-lay anchors Bro. Jun Hio and I, together with Dr. Jojo Robles and Ms. Gigi de Lara, had the opportunity to interview through phone-patch some of the youth pilgrims and priest in Krakow, Poland. This happened on the day of WYD 2016 overnight vigil with Pope Francis. Bro. Jojie Juanerio, a high school teacher in San Jose Academy, San Jose, Navotas City told the radio audience of their experiences from their days in the Diocese to their long walk to the site of the Vigil; they eagerly anticipate their overnight encounter with Pope Francis. He mentioned about the touching experiences with the youth of other countries, that they offer to our Lord all these blessings and experiences. We also interviewed Fr. Jomar Valdeviesa of Antique who shared the lesson he learned: “We were born out of love and continue to live through the mercy of God, the mercy which the Lord continues to give without limit.” Likewise, we also had a conversation with Ms. Eloisa Marie Lacap, a youth from Makati. She was excited in sharing what she learned from the talk of our very own His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle attended by the youth from different countries. She mentioned about the “Happy suffering that we experience and that all of us are agents of mercy; that we must continue to share our blessings with our neighbors, showing them mercy and compassion.”


During the Feast of Pentecost on May 31, 1925, Pope Pius XI enrolled St. John Marie Vianney among the saints and on April 23, 1928, declared him the Patron Saint of the parish priests. He was born of poor peasants with strong faith, in Dardilly, near Lyons, on May 08, 1786. He died on August 04, 1859, his Feast Day. He experienced his childhood during the French Revolution when priests were persecuted and tortured and, together with the lay faithful, were sent to guillotine. At that time, he secretly studied catechism and fell in love with Jesus. He decided to become a priest during a Mass celebrated secretly behind barred doors by an anti-Revolution priest. He had gone to Ars, became a priest to convert souls to Christianize the world.


We condemn the barbarous killing of Fr. Jacques Hammel, the 84 years old priest in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, France. The 2 ISIS knifemen slashed the throat of the priest after forcing him to his knees inside the Church during the mid-morning Mass. The ISIS entered through the backdoor of the church and was shot dead by the police. Father Jacques was pitching in while the regular parish priest was on holiday.


The CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communication will hold its 2nd National Media Convention 2016 from August 22 to 24, 2016 at Angel’s Hill Retreat & Formation Center, Tagaytay City. Main speaker is Mr. Sean Patrick Lovette of the Vatican Radio who will talk about the Vatican Perspectives in organizing the Philippine Media Ministry. Other speakers are Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ, on Broadcast Track, together with other known broadcasters; Msgr. Pepe Quitorio on Social Media-Track; Mr. Noel de Leon on Print Track and Mr. Edwin Lopez on Workshop. Mass Presiders are Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig; Bishop Edwin dela Peña of the Apostolic Vicariate of Marawi and Bishop Rey Evangelista of Imus.


Happy Birthday to Fr. Jojo Aguas and Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Most Rev. Deogracias Iñiguez, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Kalookan, Msgr. Alex Amandy and Fr. Luis Zapata, all of the Diocese of Kalookan.

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