MORE than a decade after Pope John Paul II’s second and last visit in the Philippines, the University paid tribute to the late pontiff through a display of prized collections of the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences last Jan. 26.

The exhibit “Ad Januam Coeli (To the Gate of Heaven)” showcased photos, books, and other memorabilia, such as the Pope mobile and the papal chair John Paul used during the World Youth Day in 1995, which was hosted by UST.

REMEMBERING THE POPE UST Rector Fr. Dela Rosa, O.P. guides  his predecessor, Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi through the exhibit; the papal mobile that Pope John Paul II used in his 1995 visit;  papal documents addressing UST across the centuries  are displayed. Photos by SHERWIN MARION T. VARDELEONJohn Paul’s collection of poems, apostolic letters, exhortations (like Pastores et Spes and Novo Millenio Ineunte), apostolic constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, and encyclical epistle Slavorum Apostoli were on display. Books that contained a collection of speeches during his return to Poland and Mexico and newspaper articles that documented his first two decades at the papacy were also shown.

According to Regalado Trota-Jose, gallery curator and University archivist, the exhibit was carried out with the help of Thomasian alumni who lent their possessions for display.

In his opening remarks, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of the University, shared his personal experiences with John Paul.

“I was blessed with such opportunities [to see the Pope] during the World Youth Day that was held in the University 17 years ago and during the Synod of Bishops in 1998,” said De la Rosa, who described the Pope’s presence as overwhelming.

He also said that the late Pope was greatly remembered by the world because of his apostolic motto “Totus Tuus” (totally yours), described by the Rector as the late Pope’s passionate love that he wore while he fulfilled God’s mission.

The Thomasian Alumni Center

“Out of love, he wore the Papacy. He was like a bridge that is why he was called a Pontiff. He bridged God’s mercy through people’s miseries,” De la Rosa said.

Meanwhile, the UST Central Seminary launched the Quadricentennial edition of the UST Journal of Theology in the exhibit. Faculty of Sacred Theology Dean Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P. and the Journal’s editor Bro. Jun Bello gave out its first copies to distinguished guests such as Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, the first Filipino Rector of UST and UST historian Fr. Fidel Villaroel, O.P. Maria Luisa A. Mamaradlo


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