The Catholic faithful will celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed  Virgin Mary on December 8.

It is one of the most important Marian feasts in the  liturgical calendar  of the  Roman Catholic Church  celebrated worldwide.

In the Philippines, the holy day has an additional significance: the Catholic Church will entrust families to St. Joseph, the husband of Virgin Mary.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said consecrating the families to St. Joseph “is an act of entrustment to his fatherly care, protection, and guidance.”

“The goal of this consecration is to imitate St. Joseph’s virtue, example, and closeness with Christ,” the CBCP said in a circular on November 8.

CBCP President Bishop Pablo Virgilio David will lead the praying of the rosary and the act of consecration at the San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City.

All bishops of the country are expected to join the event online with the clergy, religious and families from their homes.

In a circular issued November 8, the episcopal conference also suggested that a Eucharistic celebration be done after the national consecration.

The celebration will be livestreamed through the Facebook pages of CBCP News, Radio Veritas, TV Maria and other Catholic social media platforms.

The day will also be the closing of the “Year of St. Joseph,” which began on December 8, 2019, in honor of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church.

Cancelled gathering in Vatican

In the Vatican, for the second year in a row, Pope Francis has canceled the Roman tradition of a public gathering at the Spanish Steps on December 8 to venerate a statue of the Immaculate Conception due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Holy See press office announced on November 27 that instead of the usual outdoor public ceremony, the pope will instead perform a private act of devotion to Our Lady to avoid the formation of a crowd and the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The pope will ask the Virgin Mary in prayer “to protect the Romans, the city in which they live, and the sick who need Her maternal protection everywhere in the world,” the statement said.

The announcement came after the Italian government unveiled further Covid-19 restrictions entering into force on December 6.

Last year, Pope Francis made a surprise visit to pray alone at the Immaculate Conception statue in the Piazza di Spagna at 7 a.m. on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary after the traditional public gathering was canceled.

The pope laid a bouquet of white roses at the base of the nearly 40-foot high column which holds the statue.

The statue was dedicated on December 8, 1857, three years after Pope Pius IX promulgated a decree defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Since 1953, it has been a custom for popes to venerate the statue on the feast day. Pius XII was the first to do so, walking nearly two miles from the Vatican.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here