THERE was a moment of silence. Bells rang. People sobbed as the remains of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal were brought to the Archbishop Palace for several hours of vigil yesterday.
Vidal had called the Archbishop Palace home for 28 years, while he served as Cebu’s archbishop.
The convoy carrying his body arrived at the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Pedro Calungsod located on the palace grounds around 7 a.m. after leaving the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Msgr. Marnell Mejia, parish priest of Sto. Niño Parish, led the procession of around 20 vehicles and was designated as “hepe de viaje.”
Before proceeding to the shrine, the convoy went around the palace for a solemn procession.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, priests, nuns and other faithful waited inside the shrine.
Palma also gave his blessing to Vidal before the latter’s coffin was brought inside.
In his prayers, Palma said that Vidal’s arrival at the Archbishop Palace was symbolic since it coincided with the fifth anniversary of the canonization of Calungsod, the second Filipino saint.
Vidal was instrumental in Calungsod’s journey to sainthood, from his beatification to canonization at the Vatican City last Oct. 21, 2012.
“Ang pag-adto niya sa shrine symbolic kaayo to kay gesture to sa pagpasalamat sa cardinal sa daghang efforts nga iyang nahimo apil ang pagkasantos ni Calungsod (His being brought here is our way of thanking him for his efforts in the canonization of Calungsod),” Palma said.
Also yesterday, the Commission on Youth (COY) set aside its activities this week to pay tribute to Vidal as members continue to mourn his death.
In a eulogy the group organized, member Urlindo Chavez recalled how they looked forward for the vigil with the cardinal during their youth day celebrations.
“He was always jolly. He likes the youth and we will miss him dearly,” he said.
More than a hundred youths from different places in Metro Cebu showed up yesterday to express their gratitude to Vidal, who instituted the Local World Youth Day in 1985, the local version of World Youth Day, which the archdiocese schedules before the Holy Week.
Vidal’s remains were returned to the cathedral last night.