Every Christian is a missionary, prelate says

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CACERES, Feb. 12, 2015 — To believe in Jesus is to be sent on mission.

This is what Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona said during the 4:00 p.m. Eucharistic celebration to mark St. Peter Baptist’s feast on Feb. 8 at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.

The Archdiocese of Caceres celebrates the feast of St. Peter Baptists, its patron. Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona officiates the 4:00 p.m. Mass at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, Feb. 8, 2015. (Photo: Mylene Velasco)

According to the prelate, “every Christian is a missionary.”

He said helping the poor, strengthening one’s community and preaching the Gospel are all simple but meaningful ways of heeding the call of God through the missionary Church.

‘Vocation of holiness’

In his homily, which highlighted the spirituality, life and martyrdom of Franciscan missionary St. Peter Baptist, Tirona emphasized that one’s “vocation is holiness”.

To be holy, according to the Carmelite prelate, means to link oneself to God and to place Him at the center of one’s life.

Moreover, Tirona exhorted to “see and follow” the life of St. Peter Baptist, a man who embodied and exhibited the call of the Church by sharing, serving, building communities, and celebrating the Eucharist throughout his missionary life. The most significant task Baptist accomplished, the prelate said, was preaching the Gospel.

Placing much emphasis on the celebration of the Mass, Tirona also added that “the Eucharist is regarded as the center of every Christian’s life.” He also reminded everyone of the importance of celebrating the Word through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Formation of towns

The Philippines is home to two martyrs, San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod, and to St. Peter Baptist as well, who served the country for nine years.

At a closer look, Filipinos, more so the Bicolanos, owe many things to the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Caceres. Baptist has been regarded as a moving spirit behind the formation of many towns in the Bicol region such as San Bartolome de Baao, Quipayo, Buhi, Libmanan, Cagsawa, Oas, and Ligao.

The Archdiocesan celebration of his feast last Sunday was themed “San Pedro Bautista, may Pusong Misyonero para sa mga Dukha”. (Mylene Velasco/Natalie Quimlat/CBCPNews)

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