CBCP: Pope Francis to lead Mass in Rome for 500th anniversary of Christianity in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 3) — Pope Francis will lead the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines at the Vatican in Rome.

Citing Fr. Ricky Gente, chaplain for Filipinos in Rome, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on Wednesday said the Pope will officiate the Mass at St. Peter's Basilica at 10 a.m. on March 14.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, will attend the event along with Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Pope's vicar of Rome.

Only a limited number of people can physically attend the Mass due to COVID-19 restrictions, the CBCP said. The celebration, however, will be livestreamed from the Vatican to reach Filipinos in different parts of the world.

After the Mass, the Pope will also lead the traditional recitation of the Angelus prayer at St. Peter's Square in front of the basilica.

Citing the Italian government, the CBCP said there are over 168,000 Filipinos in the country, making them the largest population of overseas Filipino workers in Western Europe.

In December 2019, Pope Francis celebrated the beginning of 'Simbang Gabi' in Rome, the first time a pope ever presided over the traditional Mass in Catholic history.

READ: Pope Francis reminds faithful to serve those living in 'existential peripheries' in Simbang Gabi homily