Marking the centennial year of the marks of stigmata on St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, Bishop of Kalookan Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. David, D.D. celebrated the campus mass for the healing of the sick last October 8, 2018 at the Plaza Mayor. Bishop “Ambo” is currently the Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Alab ng Puso
When Jesus passed away on the Cross, a Roman soldier gave him a single thrust of the spear on his side, plunging his heart. St. Padre Pio bore the same wounds as Jesus. With particular emphasis on the wound that pierced the heart, Bishop Ambo cited St. Padre Pio’s own account, as the saint said he had a vision of an angel thrusting a flaming spear into his side. Reflecting on this, Bishop David said St. Padre Pio’s heart was “wounded not to bleed, but to burn, to be set on fire. The heart of Padre Pio, like that of Jesus, burned with the priestly zeal to save, not to condemn sinners. Like Christ, he was indignant towards religious leaders who turned religion into politics and business.”
“Walang duda, ang apoy ay sumisimbolo sa walang hanggang pag-ibig ng Diyos para sa atin, at sa Salita niyang nagbibigay liwanag. Ngunit kung minsan ang apoy ng pag-ibig ay nagiging apoy din ng banal na galit na dulot ng malasakit, pagpupuyos sa kalupitan at pagkasuklam sa pagkukunwari at pagbabanal-banalan,” Bishop David added.
Moreover, he encouraged his fellow priests to nurture their flame of faith for they were given this mission and should follow the footprints of the saint especially in fulfilling their consecrated life.
“Sa sentenaryo ni Padre Pio, mga kapatid kong pari at relihiyoso na naririto ngayon, tiyakin ninyong sa bawat pagpasok ng mga mananampalataya sa ating mga simbahan ay may apoy pa rin silang maiuuwi at maibabahagi sa kanilang kapwa,” David said.
Bringing God’s children together
The overnight visit of the incorrupt heart was part of the weeks-long tour of the Philippines, which begins in Luzon. The heart relic arrived in the morning of October 8 and was venerated following a conference for the clergy and religious. The Mass celebrated by Bishop David preceded a procession of the relic around the campus and the overnight veneration at the Santísimo Rosario Parish.