Solons hail Saints John XXIII, John Paul II
Published : Monday, April 28, 2014 00:00
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LAWMAKERS hailed yesterday Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, two beloved Popes of the modern era, for introducing reforms to the Roman Catholic Church. House independent minority bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas and Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona expressed elation with the decision of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, making the two Popes as saints. Romualdez is hoping that divine intercession through the sainthood of the two Popes will help the people in terms of guidance and relief with all the trials and crises the country is going through. “Like St. Pedro Calungsod and St. Lorenzo Ruiz, St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII will never let us down,” said Romualdez. “We in the bloc are sure that St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII will keep us closer to their heart if we won’t forget to pay homage to them in Heaven. We are certain they will join St. Pedro Calungsod and St. Lorenzo Ruiz in interceding for us, for our country and for our people.” Castelo credited the two newly-declared saints for bringing the Roman Catholic Church closer to the Filipino faithful. “Saints John XXIII and John Paul II had ushered modern-day papacy, when they brought Vatican to its flock worldwide, particularly those in developing countries,” said Castelo. Fariñas, a representative of Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. as number four top official of the country in yesterday’s canonization rites at St. Peter’s Square, said he is a fanatic of St. John Paul II and had a communion with him when the latter went to the Philippines in 1995. “My Vatican trip is a birthday, Christmas and Valentine’s gift to me by our beloved Speaker being his official representative. I’ve been following his life and he is a main source of inspiration during my trial times,” said Fariñas. Fariñas said the rosary is now his constant companion and taken the place of a .45 caliber pistol during his controversial early years, adding he constantly pray and attending a Mass twice a day. For his part, Madrona said the Filipino people should use the sainthood of the two former very influential Roman Catholic Church leaders to inspire their lives. “Let us study and learn from their lives to inspire many people. They introduced reforms and bring the Roman Catholic Church to the Filipino faithful much closer,” said Madrona. St. John Paul II visited our country twice during his papacy. The first one was in 1981 when he beatified the first Filipino martyr, Lorenzo Ruiz and in 1995 when a crowd of almost five million Catholic faithful trooped to the Quirino Grandstand and heard the Mass he celebrated on the last day of the 10th World Youth Day. It was the biggest gathering so far in the Pontiff’s 16-year reign. Thirty-three years ago, St. John Paul II also issued a papal bull or decree bestowing to the Manila Cathedral the title of Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The Vatican Two Council, which St. John XXIII initiated in the 1960’s had brought fresh wind of changes in the exercise of Christian faith, leading to massive reforms that have made the church more universal and identified with the poor.
St. John Paul II applied the brakes when the church seemed to become unwieldy as a result of the advent of liberation theology in Latin America. Lawmakers stressed that St. John Paul II did not only bring sanity to an unruly church, but also brought the papacy into the doors of most developing countries, as shown by his frequent overseas travels during his 27-year pontificate.