Pope Francis has granted the request of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to declare within the archdiocese a Special Jubilee Year, along with the attached plenary indulgence, in commemoration of the 500 years of the arrival of Christianity in the country.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Cebu reported that the Holy Father, through a decree, approved the request of the archbishop early last month.
“In commemoration of the 500 Years of the Arrival of Christianity in the Archdiocese of Cebu, His Holiness Pope Francis, through a Decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary, has graciously granted the request presented by His Excellency the Most Reverend Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, to declare within the Archdiocese a Special Jubilee Year, along with the attached plenary indulgence,” it said.
It added that based on the decree, the yearlong jubilee celebration in the archdiocese would start on April 4, 2021 and last until April 22, 2022.
An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church.
The plenary indulgence is also granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Jubilee Year celebrations and/or who devotedly make a visit, in the form of a pilgrimage, to the 12 declared pilgrim churches.
The Archdiocese of Cebu announced that it would solemnly launch the festivities through a liturgical rite, which includes the opening of the Holy Door of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Similar celebrations will be replicated in eight other churches from the oldest and farthest parishes of the archdiocese: Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Bantayan, Bantayan island; San Nicolas Parish, Cebu City; St. Catherine de Alexandria Parish, Carcar City; Patrocinio de Maria Parish, Boljoon; St. Anne Parish, Barili; National Shrine of St. Joseph Parish, Mandaue City; San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish, Dalaguete; and St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Argao.
Other strategic churches will also be declared as pilgrim sites – the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish, Danao City; St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Bogo City; St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Balamban; and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Rule, Lapu-Lapu City. SOVEREIGNPH
Furthermore, a series of jubilee celebrations in the archdiocesan and parish levels will be organized, which will involve the socially, spiritually marginalized and peripheries of society, as part of the call to the new evangelization.
“We pray that as the entire Church in the Philippines, and in particular the Church in Cebu, the Cradle of Christianity in the Far-East, looks forward to the fifth centenary of its evangelization, we as a pilgrim People of God we may be stimulated to grow further in our journey of faith by the living coherently the seed of the Gospel planted in us and we may steadfastly proclaim the message of charity, forgiveness, and fraternal solidarity in the service of the common good,” the archdiocese added.