Countdown to Christianity’s quincentennial in country launched in Cebu’s Magellan’s Cross

THE Archdiocese of Cebu and the Cebu City Government have launched the 100-day countdown to the start of the yearlong celebration for the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines.

The launching was held at the historic Magellan’s Cross in Cebu City on Monday afternoon, Jan. 4, 2021.

Aside from Cebu City officials, church officials led by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma were also present during the countdown.

Palma and Vice Mayor Michael Rama, who represented Mayor Edgardo Labella, unveiled the timer for the 100-day countdown.

The yearlong celebration for the quincentennial of Christianity in the country will start on April 14. It will end on April 14, 2022.

On April 14, 1521 in pre-colonial Cebu, Spanish sailors under the command of Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan baptized Rajah Humabon and around 800 natives.

Magellan later died in the Battle of Mactan on April 27. Forty-four years later, in 1565, Spain started the colonization of the archipelago now known as the Philippines.

Rama said the activities in line with the country’s quincentennial of Christianity will continue despite the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The vice mayor said as long as their constituents just follow the precautionary measures necessary, less infections would occur during the activities.

“We cannot make Covid-19 stop that celebration,” Rama said in his speech.

For his part, Palma said the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country is also a moment for Cebu as the seeds of the faith were planted in the island.

Palma said the celebration will also showcase how the Christian faith has shaped Cebu.

“We will look forward to becoming a part of the journey. Looking backwards in thanksgiving, celebrating the present in joy and looking forward in hope,” said Palma.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic affecting much of the celebration, Palma urged the faithful to continue expressing their faith with consideration for the precautionary measures against the disease. (JKV)


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