Manila, Philippines, Oct 30, 2014 / 19:07 pm
Families in Manila are gearing up to march in a colorful Oct. 31 parade dressed as their favorite saints, to evangelize and to catechize on heaven and the communion of the saints.
According to Chita Monfort, executive director for Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls, "the March of Saints primarily is a Christ-centered way of celebrating Halloween, and an avenue of catechizing the kids at an early age, and families, about the lives of the saints."
"The idea is to create a counter-culture and to bring back the sacredness of the celebration of the vigil of All Saints' Day," Monfort told CNA Oct. 27.
Bishop Bernardino Cortez, Prelate of Infanta, will say Mass at 3 pm on Oct. 31 at the Manila cathedral, which will be followed by a procession of hundreds of children and their parents dressed as saints and angels. The procession will include snacks, candies, and a drum and bugle corps.
"We are responding to the call of new evangelization and brief inspiring summaries on the lives of saints will also be distributed in encouraging living life of sanctity and holiness."
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan praised the event, saying that "there is a growing concern among Christians in general that the modern observance of the eve of All Saints' Day has become a secular celebration that trivializes and even glamorizes occult and pagan practices and beliefs that are incompatible with the Christian faith and the true meaning of All Saints' Day."
Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu, said of the March of Saints: "I am convinced that this will further catechize our sisters and brothers on the tenets of our faith, particularly on the importance of praying for the souls in purgatory."
Leodigario Rivera De Guzman designed a logo for the march, showing a boy dressed as St. Paul leading a group of children dressed colorfully as fellow saints. The figure of St. Paul was chosen, Guzman said, "so as to entice other children into following his example of leading them to Christ, though in the pattern of youth and fun."c