GSFS – Asian Congress – day 5 + homily
GSFS – Asian Congress – day 5
On the feast of the Stigmatization of our Holy Father Francis, Br. Alberto Marfil OFM from the Philippines prepared a special liturgy for the Fifth Day of the First Continental Congress in Asia and Oceania. The morning liturgy commemorated the event that took place at La Verna when Francis received the mark of redemption from Christ.
After breakfast, the delegates packed up for a short pilgrimage at the Minor Basilica of St. Martin of Tours in the town proper of Taal, Philippines. The church of St. Martin of Tours was one of the oldest church in the Philippines built by the Augustians friars in 1575. It now stands as the biggest Catholic church in Asia. From there, the delegates took their lunch at the Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City overlooking the Taal Lake and Volcano. During meal, there were cultural dances presented. The dances highlighted the festive celebrations in the various parts of the archipelago. In their concluding performance, they held some of the delegates to dance ‘tinikling’ a native dance at the rhythm of the bamboo sticks on the floor.
The fifth day of the formators’ congress concluded with the Holy Eucharist at six in the evening. The Vice-Secretary for Formation and Studies, Br. Sergiusz Baldyga OFM was the presider and preacher of the celebration. He recounted in his homily (text available here) the virtues par excellance of St. Francis that culminated at La Verna. He related as well the significance of Br. Leo as companion of St. Francis as an example for formators in the personalized accompaniment with formandi. He distributed as well an oriental icon of the Stigmatization of St. Francis to the delegates for this special occasion. The evening liturgy was craftily prepared by friars-delegates from South Korea and Myanmar. The rest of the evening delighted everyone during the common recreation celebrating fraternity with an international identity.
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