The Catholic faithful commemorated the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8 and marked the end of the “Year of St. Joseph” with a nationwide Consecration of the Families to St. Joseph activity.
Bishop Socrates Mesiona of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) wrote in a letter that the Catholics’ involvement is part of commemorating the ‘Holy Day of Obligation’ for the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
The consecration of Catholic believers and their families to St. Joseph, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) circular, “is an act of entrustment to his fatherly care, protection, and guidance.” This consecration aims to emulate St. Joseph’s virtues, example, and devotion to Christ.”
“Let us continue to entrust ourselves to the maternal care of our Blessed Mother Mary and protection of her husband, St. Joseph,” Bishop Mesiona said in the letter.
Bishop Mesiona also led a tree planting activity in Barangay Maruyugon, where 180 Narra and other fruit-bearing trees were planted as part of the parochial fiesta celebration of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish and the 60th anniversary of Solemn Blessing of the Cathedral.
Other activities included in the feast day celebration include the blessing of Patio de San Jose, and a motorcade of the statue of the Immaculate Conception.
Based on Republic Act No. 10966, signed into law in 2017, December 8 of every year is declared as a special non-working holiday in commemoration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, as the principal patroness of the Philippines.
Employees who will work during the said holiday are entitled to 30-percent overtime pay.
Meanwhile, as a response of the Philippine churches to the call of Pope Francis in reflecting on the role of St. Joseph, Rev. Fr. Erwin Mendoza, OSJ said the CBCP has given its blessing to launch the Men of St. Joseph-Philippines during the live-streamed praying of the Holy Rosary in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan.
“A lay Catholic association of men committed to Jesus Christ and consecrated to St. Joseph, the institution of the Men of St. Joseph is the Philippine churches response to the call of Pope Francis as contained in his apostolic letter, encouraging us to reflect on the role of St. Joseph in caring and loving our savior with a father’s heart,” Father Mendoza said.