2021.03.22 Pope Francis- Audience for Collegio Filippino

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The Holy Father Pope Francis has graciously granted an audience for the Pontificio Collegio Filippino’s resident Priests, Religious Sisters and Lay Staff (with their families), on March 22, 2021. His Eminence, Luis Antonio G. Card. Tagle, accompanied the delegation. The event started at noon at the Sala Clementina Audience Hall in the Vatican.

This Audience is on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Pontificio Collegio Filippino (founded on June 29, 1961, and blessed by Saint Pope John XXIII on October 7, 1961). It was also within the context of the 500 Years of Christianity celebrated in the Philippines: the first Mass that marked the arrival of Christianity was celebrated on Easter Sunday March 31, 1521, two weeks after Ferdinand Magellan (Fernando Magallanes) reached the archipelago on March 16, 1521.

Gifts to Pope Francis given by the Collegio FIlippino

  • Woven HAT and BAG using native Philippine materials

Hand-made of bariw, a local grass and buri, a palm leaf, with black wood. The modern “attaché case” uses traditional materials. The hat, locally known as “kalo” or “sombrero”, is designed to be worn by men.

These hand-made products come from the town of Pandan in the Province of Antique. In a special way, the bag is dedicated by the Pandananons (people of Pandan) to the Holy Father: “To: Pope Francis. With Love from: Pandan Antique Philippines”

Bariw and buri plants grow in swampy areas and riverbanks. The town boasts of claiming to have the cleanest river in the entire Philippines, the Bugang River.

The buri’s natural colors are either dark brown (greenish-brown = Bariw) and white (off-white = Buri) when the leaves are dried naturally, while new dyeing methods give a different touch of color.

The Parish in the town proper of Pandan was founded in 1752, with St. Vincent Ferrer, as their patron. They are preparing for their 270th foundation anniversary next year.

  • Woven SCARF using native Philippine materials

Locally known as “Patadyong”, it is a cloth usually worn by women to cover the body. This is a traditional hand-weave called “hinabol” from the town of Bugasong, in the Province of Antique.

The usual color is checkered red, but other colors and styles became available due to the people’s demand. Embroidery and gold threads were later added as a modern twist but still reflect the unique craftmanship of the province. This white scarf was especially hand-made as a gift to the Holy Father, and resembles the cloth worn by the Pope.

Local weavers still use “mano-mano” (by hand) inserting cotton thread after thread to create the cloth. This is usually the past time of women in the barangay (locality).

The hat, bag and scarf were sent through Fr. Alfonso A. Alojipan of the Diocese of San Jose de Antique, who is doing the Licentiate in Church Institutional Communications at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce).

  • Painting by a priest from Collegio FIlippino

Painting’s Title: “Servire, condividere e proclamare”
[To Serve, Share and Proclaim]
Based on PCF@60 theme: “Called to Serve, Gifted to Share, Sent to Proclaim” (Mt. 23:11)

Painting’s Explanation:

  • Our Lady of Peace & Good Voyage = Pontificio Collegio Filippino (PCF) Patroness
  • Cross = CHRIST, the center of PCF Community; also represents the celebration of 500 yrs of Christianity in the Philippines
  • Sun (as in the Philippine flag) = Philippines
  • Facade of PCF building = PCF community
  • PCF@60, 1961-2021 = PCF 60th Foundation Anniversary
  • Priest holding a bible = “Sent to Proclaim”
  • Priest holding a host & a ciborium = “Gifted to Share” (sharing Christ)
  • Priest holding a lighted candle = “Called to Serve”
  • Ribbons (at PCF main door) = prayer requests received & offered; also represents PCF as welcoming non-Filipino priests & other guests

Painter: Fr. James Raymond Cortez, Archdiocese of Caceres (Bicol, Philippines), doing the Doctorate in Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum).

  • Ring engraved and crafted by a Muslim brother for a Collegio Filippino priest

The engraving reads: TRUTH: JESUS IS ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-GOOD GOD. This recreates TRUST which heals…

It is a reflection on John 14:6, “Jesus says: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, by Fr. Bernie Edayan of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, Philippines, who studies Licentiate in Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce).

The ring was crafted and engraved by a Muslim brother in the Philippines.

  • Friends of the Collegio souvenir pen and refrigerator magnet

Friends of the Collegio all over the world help us with their prayers, volunteer work and donations.

In the US, Friends of the Collegio is an IRS-registered charity under 501c3, and hence issues tax-deductible receipts.

To help in this mission of continuing formation of priests at the Pontifical Filipino College in Rome, please visit friendsofthecollegio.org.