CEBU CITY—POPE Francis has announced that the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) will be held in Budapest, Hungary in 2020, after Cebu’s successful hosting that saw record-breaking attendance from the faithful.

The Holy Father made the announcement in a video message after the Concluding Mass of the 51st IEC, the “Statio Orbis” or the “Mass of the World,” at Cebu South Road Properties. An estimated one million people attended the Mass led by the papal legate, Charles Cardinal Maung Bo of Myanmar.

The Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest houses 1,254,000 Catholics or 60.1 percent of Budapest’s population. It was in the 10th century when the Archdiocese of Esztergom was established. The see was renamed the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest in 2013.

Budapest-Esztergom Archbishop Peter Cardinal Erdo was one of the top prelates who celebrated the Eucharist during the 51st IEC.

After successfully concluding the 51st IEC, the next massive Catholic celebration in the country will be the quincentenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.

In 2012, then Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma called for an era of “new evangelization” and a nine-year preparation for the 500th year of evangelization of the country.

“We remember the baptism of Rajah Humabon who was given his Christian name Carlos and his wife Amihan who was baptized Juana in 1521. Our eyes gaze on the Santo Niño de Cebu, the oldest religious icon in the Philippines. Indeed the year 2021 will be a year of great jubilee for the Philippine Church,” Palma said in the pastoral letter released on July 9, 2012.

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A nine-year “spiritual journey” started in 2013 with the Year of Integral Faith Formation. The Year of the Laity came next in 2014, followed by the Year of the Poor in 2015 and the Year of the Eucharist and Family this year.

Year 2017 will be the Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities; 2018, the Year of the Clergy and Religious; 2019, the Year of the Youth; and 2020, the Year of Ecumenism and Inter-religious dialogue.

The 2021 jubilee year will be for “missio ad gentes,” or mission to the nations.

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