On February 5-23, 2020, a pilgrimage of the relics of St. Maximilian Kolbe was conducted in the Philippines. This event was a collaborative effort between the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception and Bl. Bonaventure of Potenza in the Philippines; the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the USA; and the Provincial Delegation in Canada of the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the U.S.A.
The purpose of the pilgrimage was to promote St. Maximilian among the people as a friar-missionary, the founder of the Militia of the Immaculate (M.I.), and the patron saint of families, the sick, and those in prison.
The pilgrimage traced the route Father Maximilian took when he visited Manila in May of 1936. The pilgrimage began with a Mass of Welcome at the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Cathedral of Manila). Next was the chapel of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, where St. Maximilian celebrated Mass. Then, there was a historic visit to the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila, where a concluding Mass was celebrated attended by a select group of people representing Filipino families, those who are terminally ill and people working for social justice.
Various communities were visited including the St. Maximilian M. Kolbe Friary, the headquarters of the Philippine Custody, where many members of the M.I. and the Secular Franciscans gathered. Another was the Church of St. Maximilian, the only church in the Philippines dedicated to the saint. The people there welcomed the relics with grand festivities and a Mass followed, presided over by the Most Reverend Roberto GAA, DD, Bishop of Novaliches, the Philippines. The pilgrimage made stops at the St. Joseph Friary in Tagaytay City as well as the Tagaytay’s city jail and the theological seminary of the Diocese of San Pablo (Laguna, the Philippines). It proceeded to the Church of San Agustin in Parañaque; and finally visited the Church of San Francisco ng Assisi in Binangonan, Rizal; and a Salesian theological Institute at the request of the Salesian communities.
The Custos, Friar Francis Victor MATEO, and the friars of the Philippines, wish to express their appreciation to the Very Revered James McCurry, Minister Provincial of the Mother Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the USA, for the support he gave this spiritual event. Also, special thanks to the Reverend Friar Jobe ABBASS, the Provincial Delegate in Canada, and the custodian of the relics, for his efforts and fraternal witness.
Friar Daniel M. SUGATAN