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Eucharistic Congress symbol paraded in Manila


MANILA (Mabuhay) : The Pilgrim Symbol for the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress slated for Cebu in January was welcomed to Manila at a Mass celebrated by Luis Cardinal Tagle at the cathedral on July 2, CBCP News reported.

The inspiration for the Pilgrim Symbol comes from the World Youth Day Cross, which was presented to the young people of the world by Pope John Paul II in 1984. It is carried throughout the world as a sign of Christ’s love for humanity and is present at World Youth Day celebrations.

Countries that host a Eucharistic Congress design their own Pilgrim Symbol in a manner that is culturally fitting and has a message for the people. The Philippine symbol embodies the spirit and identity of Cebu and bears the Cross of Magellan at the suggestion of the hosting bishop, Archbishop José Palma.

Four men carried the symbol on their shoulders into the cathedral for the welcoming Mass. It symbolises the coming of Christianity to The Philippines with the arrival of the Spanish in 1521.

A relic of the true cross of Jesus Christ is embedded within the Cross of Magellan as a sign of hope and glory.

The Pilgrim Symbol is designed to reflect the Philippine Church and the Cross of Magellan symbolises the call to mission to all the Gentiles. It is a sign of the New Evangelisation, proclaiming the love and compassion of Jesus through the witness of life.

The website of the Philippine bishops points out that it symbolises a departure from some of the rough and ready means of announcing the good news in the past and reflects a purification in the understanding of God’s mission on earth.

The congress in Cebu will be the 51st International Eucharistic Congress and the second to be held in The Philippines. The first was in 1937 in Manila.

It is envisioned that the congress will provide opportunities for experiencing and understanding the Eucharist as a transforming encounter with the Lord, as well as an occasion for the discovery and rediscovery of faith.

However, Cardinal Tagle has his concerns. The congress is an event that belongs to the world as much as to the people who host it and he is concerned that only the privileged Filipino with lots of pesos in their pockets will be able to represent The Philippines to the rest of humankind.

He is asking the people of the nation to donate one peso ($0.18) a day to ensure that poor delegates will also have the opportunity to show the face of the Philippine Church at the congress.

“The delegates of the archdiocese of Manila will come from the poorest of the poor who cannot afford to pay for their fare and registration fee,” Cardinal Tagle pointed out.

“This will give our poor brethren a chance to experience being part of an international event. Please be generous in your support of the Eucharistic Congress,” he added.

However, apart from being a religious experience, the congress is also a spectacle and a high class presentation of the national Church. It has a price tag.

It is anticipated that cost of erecting a pavilion will amount to some US$6.8 million ($52.6 million) and that is just the beginning of the overall cost. However, as Pope Francis is now not intending to attend the congress, there will be a saving in expenses.


People have been asked to give generously so that the spiritual benefits of the congress outlast the debt burden.

The delegates of
the archdiocese of Manila will come from the poorest of the poor who cannot afford to pay for their fare and registration fee