The CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, Radio Veritas Asia, and Radio Veritas 846 launched a coffee table book in commemoration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines on September 28, at the Radio Veritas Asia auditorium.
The book was launched jointly by Father Victor Sadaya CMF, the General Manager of Radio Veritas Asia, Father Anton C.T. Pascual, the President of Radio Veritas 846, and Father Roy Bellen, the Vice-President for Operations of Radio Veritas 846 and Editor-in-Chief of the Book.
The Coffee table book entitled ‘Gifted to Give’ documents and highlights the milestones of the continuing journey of the Church in the Philippines from the very beginning.
The cover of the commemorative book features the coat-of-arms of the 86 Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in the Philippines along with the official logo of the Philippine Church as it celebrates its 500 years.
The program started with a concelebrated Holy Mass presided over by Father Victor Sadaya CMF, followed by the launching program and lunch, and ended with signing the copies for those present.
In his homily, Father Roy Bellen, recalled the martyrdom of the first Filipino Saint St. Lorenzo Ruiz and said that the story of the Philippine Church is a reminder for Christians all over the world to not just depend on our own intelligence and capacity but rather depend on what God offers to us, His grace, His love, and His mercy.
In his message, CBCP President and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said that the Philippine Church’s history is undeniably intertwined with the historical development of the Filipino nation.
“Had things turned out otherwise, we would not know what would have had transpired. And yet, here we are: born and baptized in the Catholic Faith (as those early converts were), our lives as present-day Filipinos forever informed by Catholic teachings and remaining ever-loyal to Rome.” Bishop David added.
The story of Christianity in the Philippines begins with the arrival of Magellan and his crew in Cebu on March 16, 1521, and the miraculous healing of the sick grandson of Rajah Humabon with the help of someone from Magellan’s men. The historic celebration of the baptism and first mass of more than 800 converts on Easter Sunday of 1521 marks the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.
With the vast majority of the population being Catholic Christians, the Philippines is ranked as the world’s third-largest Catholic country.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.