Pope Francis will lead the Filipino community in Italy in the quincentennial or 500th annual celebration of Christianity in the Philippines, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said Wednesday.
Quoting Fr. Ricky Gente of the Filipino Chaplaincy in Rome, the CBCP said the celebration will be highlighted with a Mass to be officiated by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica at 10 a.m. (5 p.m. in Manila) on March 14.
Also joining the mass are Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; and Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the pope’s vicar for Rome.
Only a limited number of people will be allowed to attend the mass in person at the basilica due to COVID-19 restrictions, CBCP said.
After the mass, Pope Francis will also lead the traditional recitation of the Angelus prayer at St. Peter’s Square.
In an interview on Teleradyo Wednesday, Fr. Greg Gaston, rector of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino, said the mass will most likely be in Italian, but some Filipino songs may be used during the mass.
In the Philippines, most dioceses will launch the yearlong commemoration on April 4, Easter Sunday.