27 April 2014, 9:40 p.m. – THE CANONIZATION of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II must serve as a call for everyone to live a holy life.

This was the message of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in his homily during the eucharistic celebration this afternoon at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, which coincided with the canonization rites at the Vatican.

Tagle called on thousands of Filipino faithful to follow the humble and ordinary lifestyles of the two late pontiffs. “Do not say sanctity is far off and holiness is not relevant in our times. The celebration today is a loud declaration to the world that holiness is real,” he said.

Reflecting on the two pope-saints’ eagerness in pastoral service, Tagle also urged the faithful to be brave enough in preaching God’s message.

“Just like the two popes, enter the world. Do not be afraid to engage. Bring the values of Jesus, mercy of God and the holiness of Jesus,” he said.

Even though the faithful who attended the local celebration were not in Rome, they were still witnesses to the two new saints’ legacies, the cardinal said.

Tagle called the coliseum a “living relic” and a “blessed place,” since it was visited in 1981 by Pope John Paul II, who declared it a “colosseo of papal audiences.”

Pope John XXIII, meanwhile, was responsible for the establishment of the dioceses of Malolos and Imus, Cavite where Tagle served as bishop.

The event, titled “Shepherds, Servants and Saints,” featured a live streaming of the canonization rites at St. Peter’s Square, which was presided by Pope Francis.

Filipinos in Rome recall Pope John Paul II, John XXIII

It was organized by the Jesuit Communications Foundation in partnership with the Archdiocese of Manila and the Diocese of Cubao.

A penitential rite, Taize prayer, and procession of the relics of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II were also held. April Joy E. Dy


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