Pope Francis to celebrate Aguinaldo Mass for Filipinos in Rome on Dec. 15
MANILA, Philippines — Pope Francis is set to lead his first Aguinaldo Mass for the Filipino community in Rome on Dec. 15, a report from Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Friday.
CBCP said the fourth Aguinaldo Mass for Filipino community will be held at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican at 4:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. for Manila time).
“This is the fourth year that we celebrate it in the basilica but the first time that the Pope will be the one to preside,” Scalabrinian Fr. Ricky Gente of the Filipino Chaplaincy in Rome said in a statement at CBCP News.
Fr. Gente, however, said the mass can only accommodate 7,500 churchgoers due to the limited space in the basilica.
“We have thousands of Filipinos who requested entry but we are not allowed to go beyond that sitting capacity of the basilica,” Fr. Gente said.
CBCP said over 150 priests, including Cardinal Vicar Angelo de Donatis, Vicar of Rome and Fr. Leonir Chiarello, head of the Scalabrinians worldwide, will participate in the Mass.
Grace Relucio-Princesa, the country’s ambassador to the Holy See, and Domingo Nolasco, Philippine ambassador to Italy, are also joining the Filipino community for the Mass.
Aguinaldo Masses are held for nine consecutive days up to Christmas while the rest of the celebrations will run at the Santa Pudenziana Basilica.
Aguinaldo Masses or Misa de Gallo (rooster’s Mass or early morning Mass) is considered the most distinctive Christmas tradition in the Philippines, CBCP said.
Edited by MUF
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