Four points in the history that we, Pinoy Catholics, should know as we celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. This is a quick and an easy history lesson to supplement our belief and to refresh our minds regarding the Catholic Church.
Indeed, despite the many attacks for centuries from the outside (and from the inside too), the Bridge of Christ (Eph 5:23, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 19:7, 21:2, 21:9, 22:17) will remain One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic because Jesus Christ (her groom) who built this Church is one, holy, universal, and an apostle (meaning “sent”) by God.
AD 33 – Jesus founded a Church through Peter and his Apostles
Although this is biblical, many do not believe this simple fact. They refuse Peter’s primacy and tweak the meanings of the verses in the Sacred Scriptures to accommodate their own reasoning. The truth is that Jesus left one singular Church through Peter. “And so I say to you, you are Peter (means stone or rock), and upon this rock I will build my church (one not many), and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
AD 40 – Apostles James (and Paul possibly) Christianized Spain
Paul mentioned in his letter to the Romans that he would be seeing them on his way to Spain (Romans 15:24, 28). Whether this was realized or not, it does not matter the important thing is that Spain is one of the target region of evangelization of the apostles. James, as per history and Sacred Tradition, through the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Pillar, christianized Spain. In the year AD 40, He died as martyr and was buried in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia, Spain. His tomb is still in the Catholic Cathedral at the present time.
AD 1521 – Spain Christianized the Philippines
Birth year of Christianity in the Philippines. First expedition from Spain, via Mexico, reached the shores of Samar Islands in the Philippines. “Philippines” was the name given to the newly discovered country in honor of King Philip the ruler of Spain that time. Christianization began since then. Catholic Churches and schools were build by Spanish missionaries. The Catholic Church flourished in the entire archipelago for centuries.
AD 2021 – The Philippines Celebrates 500 Years of Christianity
The Philippine Church, despite the many problems inside and outside the church, continues to help the poor and the needy. She continues to proclaim and defend the Gospel of Christ with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
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