Rome Newsroom, Apr 3, 2021 / 18:00 pm
Pope Francis has sent a video message to the Philippines to mark the 500 year anniversary of the first Mass on Philippine soil on Easter Sunday.
“Give thanks for the gift of faith. Thank God for the people who have given you faith and for the people to whom you will transmit the faith, renewing the desire to evangelize, to reach others and bring them the hope and joy of the Gospel,” the pope said in the video sent on April 4.
Fr. Pedro de Valderrama offered the first Catholic Mass in the Philippines on Easter Sunday in 1521 on the island of Limasawa.
The Spanish priest had been a part of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition which first made contact with the Filipino natives on March 28, 1521. Fr. Valderrama also celebrated the first baptism in the Philippines on the island of Cebu on April 14 of the same year.