By Mariel Celine L. Serquiña
June 30, 2021
Papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown on Tuesday has used his first “Pope’s Day” celebration in the Philippines in asking the faithful to step up commitment to saving creation.
Addressing the faithful gathered for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, he said Christians are called not just to a “moral beauty” but also “to respect the beauty of God’s creation around us in nature”.
“We cannot fail to be concerned when we see environmental degradation around you,” Brown said in his homily at the Manila Cathedral.
“Sensitivity to beauty is part of the Filipino culture but much remains to be done in respecting the beauty of God’s creation,” he said.
Echoing Pope Francis, the nuncio also said that Catholics are called to be “instruments of God” who “corresponds with His plan for peace, beauty and fulness.”
Citing Saints Peter and Paul, he stressed that the real beauty of Rome comes from saints who “shed their blood for Christ,” not from any physical glory or fame.
“Their (Sts. Peter and Paul) vocations were similar, each was an evangelizer, but each expresses the beauty of holiness in his own distinct way,” Brown said.
“Beauty attracts by its very nature that is why the saints are always evangelizers no matter what their specific vocation is. They are imbued by the beauty of God,” he added.
Pope’s day is celebrated annually during the feast day of Sts. Peter and St. Paul, the “two pillars of the Church.”
In attendance were Cardinal Jose Advincula and other bishops in the ecclesiastical province of Manila.
In the Vatican, Pope Francis blessed the “pallium”, the white woolen vestments to be given to each new metropolitan archbishop.
The pope said the pallium are signs “chosen to symbolize the reality of pastoral care,” in the hope that those who will wear them may “recognize themselves as shepherds of the flock”.
The 34 recently appointed archbishops, including Cardinal Jose Advincula, will receive their blessed pallium from their local apostolic nuncio.