Cardinal urges Catholics to holiness at end of Padre Pio’s heart visit

Cardinal urges Catholics to holiness at end of Padre Pio’s heart visit

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato urges Catholics to seek holiness at the farewell Mass for the heart relic of Saint Padre Pio at the national shrine of the Italian saint in Santo Tomas, Batangas October 26. ROY LAGARDE

By CBCP News

October 26, 2018

Santo Tomas, Batangas

A top churchman urged the faithful to unite faith and action in Christian life in front of a massive crowd at the send off Mass for the incorrupt heart relic of Saint Padre Pio on Friday.

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato said people are called to “Christian discipleship” at a time when the country is in deep crisis because of the spate of killings and widespread corruption.

In his homily at the National Shrine of St Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, he said these “dark signs of our times” includes a “damaged culture” because of faith that doesn’t lead to concrete action.

“This is one of the greatest errors of Christian life in the Philippines. We say that we are Christians but we don’t practice what believe in,” Queveo said.

“These are the reasons why there are so many problems in our country… criminality, corruption and so forth,” he said.

The cardinal said Christians are not called simply to admire great saints like Padre Pio, bur rather to imitate their virtues of humility and charity.

He said the devotion to the Capuchin friar must be expressed not just by words but also by deeds.

“The call to holiness then is the call of our times,” said Quevedo. “But we can’t be holy by simply desiring it. We have to collaborate with God’s grace and strive daily to be holy and charitable.”

He added that to be holy, people also need to pray.

“Prayer is the key to God’s heart as Padre Pio reminds us,” he said. “We cannot be holy, we cannot be united to the suffering heart of Jesus unless we pray.”

Hundreds of thousands honored the relic during its three-week stay in the country.

Padre Pio’s heart arrived in the country on Oct. 5 and stayed in the Philippines until Oct. 26. It was also brought to the cathedrals of Manila, Cebu and Davao.