This year , we join the whole community around the world in this Jubilee Year of Mercy in a pilgrimage to the Holy Door. Together with the children of Schools of Peace and young people from different cities from Manila, and provinces from Rizal joins the visit to the Holy Door of Manila Cathedral - Basilica of Immaculate Concepcion on July 24, 2016 in which the Community of Sant'Egidio organized for nearly 100 young people.
Throughout the year the Community helps poor children with a free of charge volunteer service called “the School of Peace”. It’s a safe environment where children can strengthen their education but also can learn how to grow up in peace, resisting to the dangers and the violence of the street. Entering the Holy Door with these children gave a chance for them to feel the presence of God. Through this Year of Mercy, the Community of Sant'Egidio wants to show them that God loves most even the little and young ones. Walking together with our friends, the poor and the neglected ones, we don’t consider them the object of our service, rather our real brothers and sisters in the community.
Pope Francis said during the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord this year that the Holy Year of Mercy is a grace-filled moment that also concerns young people. He encourage the youth to take an active part in this celebration and to realize that each of you is a child of God (cf. 1 Jn 3:1). He keeps inviting us, one by one, calling us by name, as Jesus does each day. The pope said early this year, “You know that your names are written in heaven (Lk 10:20), in the heart of the Father, that Merciful Heart which is the source of all reconciliation and kindness”. We must keep alive the desire to know how these numerous signs of the tenderness of God offers to the whole world especially to those who suffer, who are alone and abandoned, without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father’s mercy and love.
This moment of joy of journeying the Holy Door starts with a short moment of prayer and meditation of the Word of God . We are committing ourselves to grow in spirituality and to draw nourishment from the Gospel and the Eucharist in order to help build a more just and fraternal world. During the homily, Fr. Kali Llamado, Vice Rector of the ManilaCathedral reminds the young people who goes through the holy door today to strengthen our relationship with the Our Father. He emphasized, “We do not just only ask of anything to Our Father but rather we should talk and increase more our communication to Him. Do not just ask, seek Jesus”. In the same way to our earthly fathers, we should see them not only as providers for material blessings but rather as a father who delivers, who guides their children and who loves them. The relationship we have with our Father in heaven, we should imitate as well in our families to foster the needs of the children, to nurture them, to teach them good values and to teach them how to pray. Fr. Llamado offers a special blessing and prayer to the children and young people of the Community of Sant’Egidio after the Holy celebration.
The visit to the Holy Door of Manila Cathedral, one of the historical part of our city in which Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass during his first visit to the Philippines in January 16, 2015 brings everyone a new spirit and special meaning of experiencing great joy.