Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula leads the Eucharistic celebration for the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9, 2022. (Photo from the Quiapo Church Facebook page)

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula on Friday reminded Filipinos of the Blessed Mother’s pivotal role in gathering Filipinos to rally and pray together for the sake of truth, justice and democracy in the 1986 People Power Revolution, during the Mass commemorating the 36th anniversary of the event at the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA. 

“Now is an important time to uphold our national dignity as pueblo amante de Maria (people in love with Mary),” Advincula said in his homily. “Let us not allow EDSA to be a mere page in our national history. EDSA is not just a political event about the reconfiguration of power; EDSA is a religious and spiritual experience that cuts through time and inspires our life as a nation.”

“EDSA is not so much about the triumph of one party or dynasty over another; it is about the victory of the faith and heroism of the Filipino people. Maka-Diyos kaya makabayan,” he added. 

Advincula emphasized the power of social transformation and empowerment brought about by the historic uprising. 

“We showed the world that ordinary Filipinos are not passive dependents and blind followers of fake news mongers and greedy power players. We showed the world that we are actively engaged citizens who have the freedom and dignity to choose our nation’s destiny by coming together in prayer and solidarity,” he said.  

Advincula challenged the faithful to do away with “selfish preferences” and “personal conveniences” and instead be instruments of truth, charity and righteousness. 

“We cannot be truly pueblo amante de Maria if we are pious and devout in our personal lives but we also disregard God’s precepts in our political life, and if we destroy our land with disinformation, abuse, violence, corruption and destruction of creation,” he said.

The cardinal noted that Mary’s “maternal protection and care” guided Filipinos to be “steadfast and firm in charity and justice amid a very critical situation.”

“The forces of the world would battle with tanks, bombs, tear gas, bullets… as well as machineries, connections and negotiations, and yet the simple Filipino people resorted to liturgies, rosaries, novenas, flowers, food, festivity, and images of Mary and Jesus,” he said. 

“At EDSA, we chose prayer over power. Devotions instead of weapons. Love instead of violence. Faith instead of firearms,” he added

Advincula urged Catholics to ask for Mary’s guidance and intercession in seeking for peace and justice in the country and all over the world.

“We need to pray the Holy Rosary as families and communities and contemplate the holy mysteries in the life of Mary and Jesus so that they may transpire in our personal and social lives. We need to express our faith in both private and public spheres and let the teachings and commandments of God influence our national decisions,” he said.

In 1986, Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin called on millions of Filipinos to support the peaceful protests that overthrew the dictatorial regime of Ferdinand Marcos, and restored the country’s democracy.

Two days after Marcos fled to exile in Hawaii, Sin thought of establishing the EDSA Shrine, to serve as a reminder of Our Lady’s presence during the People Power Revolution.

Churches in the Archdiocese of Manila tolled their bells at 12 noon and 8 p.m on Friday to commemorate the EDSA People Power Revolution and in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.


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