Manila, Philippines, Jan 15, 2015 / 22:38 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Seven cathedrals of Manila have been destroyed, but the eighth remains strong like the Philippines’ people, Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila said in an invigorating speech to Pope Francis Friday.
“This cathedral has been razed to the ground many times, but it refuses to vanish,” the 57-year-old cardinal said at the close of a Mass with Pope Francis Jan. 16. “It boldly rises from the ruins – just like the Filipino people.”
“Yes, Holy Father, we bishops, priests and religious men and women have seen and lived the suffering and determination of our people,” he said, citing St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians: “We are afflicted in every way possible, but we are not crushed.”
Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Manila for bishops, clergy, vowed religious and seminarians as part of his papal visit to the Philippines.
Manila’s first cathedral was destroyed by fire in the sixteenth century, while the next five were either partially damaged or destroyed by earthquakes, Cardinal Tagle explained. An 1863 quake buried the members of the cathedral chapter, the choir and the lay faithful.