For the first time in history, a Pope has led the Philippines’ traditional Simbang Gabi at the center of the Catholic faith.
Although Simbang Gabi has already been celebrated 4 times at the Vatican, Pope Francis is the only Pope to have presided over the mass. At the end of the celebration, he shared a special message with the Filipinos present. “Continue to be smugglers of the faith,” Francis preached.
During his homily, he explained that the ‘exodus’ of over 2 million Filipino migrants to find work has ‘smuggled’ the Catholic faith to other parts of the world. “In recent decades, thanks to Filipino migrants, this devotion has crossed national borders and has arrived in many other countries,” Francis said, referring to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
“You, dear brothers and sisters, who have left your land in search of a better future, have a special mission. Your faith should be leaven in the parish communities to which you belong. Today I encourage you to increase opportunities for meeting to share your culture and spiritual wealth while at the same time allowing yourselves to be enriched by the experiences of others,” said the Pope.
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