Being ‘ordinary’ is no excuse not to be holy, says Manila bishop

Being ‘ordinary’ is no excuse not to be holy, says Manila bishop
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Thousands flock to the Manila Cathedral to venerate the heart relic of Saint Padre Pio, October 9, 2018. ROY LAGARDE

By Roy Lagarde

October 9, 2018

Manila, Philippines

There’s no reason good enough for any Christian in not responding to the call to holiness, a Catholic bishop said.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo encouraged people to stop making excuses in answering God’s call to be saints, who make time for prayer and show care for others.

In his homily during mass to welcome the heart relic of Saint Padre Pio at the Manila Cathedral on Tuesday, he urged the devotees not to be afraid of holiness and be perfect in charity.

“None of us can say we can’t be holy because we are just ordinary persons. All of us are called by God to be holy,” said Pabillo.

To drive his point, he said that Padre Pio was, in his own way, a simple man, an ordinary man “but we are starstruck” by his holiness.

The Capuchin friar, he said, drew many people towards faith because of his ordinary priestly ministry that affected the lives of the faithful.

“This only shows us that holiness is attractive. Holiness attracts,” Pabillo said.

“His virtuous living are things possible for each of us,” the bishop added. “We just need to cooperate with God’s grace.”

Thousands of devotees trooped to the Manila Cathedral and queued long lines to venerate the heart relic.

The minor basilica is the third destination for the relic of the saint known for healing the sick since it arrived in the country last Friday.

But Pabillo appealed to the people to shun indifference by praying not only for themselves or their families but also the country’s welfare.

“Let us come to Padre Pio not only for our personal intentions. Let us include in our prayer our beloved nation,” he said.

“Our nation is wounded. It has several problems. Let us pray for our country too, especially our leaders,” Pabillo added. “Let us seek renewal for our country. We hope the Philippines becomes holy.”

With round the clock public veneration, the relic will stay at the cathedral until Thursday morning before it heads to Cebu City.