UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. on Wednesday called on Thomasians to “love more than ever” in a Eucharistic celebration commemorating the University’s 410th founding anniversary.

Ang, the 97th Rector Magnificus of UST, said it was important to recognize the milestone even amid the difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Tinatanong ko ang aking sarili kung nararapat ba tayong magdaos ngayon ng espesyal na okasyon kung kailan marami ang nagdurusa at naghihirap sa buhay dala ng hamon ng pandemya. [Ngunit] kailangan nating mabuhayan ng loob para mapagpatuloy ang akademikong komunidad,” Ang said in his homily.

The Rector underscored the importance of looking back at UST’s rich history so Thomasians could move forward with their Thomasian identity intact.

“Nararapat at napapanahon na magbalik-tanaw tayo sa kasaysayan ng Unibersidad upang may mapulot tayong aral at inspirasyon. Magkaiba man tayo ng karakter…nagkakaisa tayo bilang mga Tomasino,” he said. 

“In history, we look into the past like a mirror in hopes of seeing ourselves clearly reflected and to understand the future,” Ang added.

Quoting ex-UST rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Ang pointed out that the history of UST has been “impelled by faith, propelled by hope and compelled by love [and] charity.”

  “Thomasians, going to the history of the University is not intended at all to burden your memory. It is meant to illuminate your soul and revitalize the Tria Haec hiding inside you. We need to love more than ever,” Ang said.

The Tria Haec (Latin for “These Three”) refers to the three theological virtues — faith, hope and love — represented by three statues on the Main Building tower.

Ang also urged Thomasians to acknowledge their limitations and entrust themselves completely to God.

“Today, there is an ongoing war: the war for life, war for health and war for well-being… We deal with weaknesses and vulnerabilities with the grim reality of sorrow, death and desperation…We need to hope more than ever even if there are causes for despair. Hope transcends such hardships,” Ang said.

The theme of the celebration is “500 years of Christianity and 410 years of Fidelity,” in line with the quincentennial of Christianity in the Philippines.

As part of its 410th anniversary celebration, UST held an online concert called “Musikang Tomasino: Tapat sa Diyos at Bayan,” which featured a 45-minute compilation of works by Thomasian composers. It was live-streamed via the UST Conservatory of Music Facebook page and YouTube channel. 

The UST Graduate School History program and the University’s History Department also held  a commemorative lecture about the University’s foundation.

The University was founded on April 28, 1611, in fulfillment of Manila Archbishop Miguel de Benavides’ wish to open a seminary-college to prepare young men for the priesthood.

Benavides bequeathed P1,500 and his personal library to the project in 1605. On November 20, 1645, the college was elevated to a university by Pope Innocent X.

On September 17, 1902, Pope Leo XIII made the University of Santo Tomas a “Pontifical University.” Pope Pius XII then bestowed upon it the title of “The Catholic University of the Philippines” in 1947. Christine Joyce Paras


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.