A rare relic from the Vatican will be made available for public display at the Manila Cathedral today, and it is from a saint-pope who is truly dear to the Filipinos’ hearts!
The public veneration for the relic of St. Pope Paul VI will start at 4pm today, June 29, at the Manila Cathedral. The event is held along with the celebrations for the Pope’s Day and the day for Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul.
According to reports, the public veneration is expected to be monumental as it will be the first time that the relic is made available for public viewing ever since it arrived in the country in November last year.
“The Manila Cathedral was given a very precious and rare relic by the Vatican—a cuff from a shirt he wore,” the Cathedral wrote in a Facebook post. “The said relic will have its first public veneration on June 29, 2019, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul and Pope’s Day celebration.”
Close to the Filipinos’ Hearts
In a previous interview, Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral, confirmed that St. Pope Paul VI has had close ties with the Manila Cathedral. He said that when they sent a letter to the Vatican in 2017 to request for the relics of three important Popes, the cuff from the shirt of St. Pope Paul VI was among them.
These three saint-popes, according to Fr. Malicdem, are closely connected to the Manila Cathedral. One was St. Pope John XXIII, the pope during the rebuilding and dedication of the cathedral in 1958, and the two others were St. Pope Paul VI and St. Pope John Paul II, the popes who celebrated Mass at the cathedral in the years 1970 and 1981, respectively.
A Pope of Firsts
Many remember St. Pope Paul VI as the brave pope who made history after he continued the Second Vatican Council that Pope John XXIII started in 1962.
Dubbed the “pilgrim pope” and the “pope of firsts,” St. Pope Paul VI not only successfully updated the Church’s teachings during his papacy, he also broke records as the first pope to ever take a plane.
St. Pope Paul VI died from a heart attack in 1978. He was beatified in October 2014 and was canonized by Pope Francis last year, October 2018.