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Catholic Church leaders welcome Dec. 8 holiday

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By Leslie Ann Aquino

Catholic prelates welcomed President Duterte’s declaration of December 8 of every year as a special non-working holiday saying its our country’s lasting gift to the Blessed Mother, especially this Christmas season.

Thousands of people join the 37th Grand Marian Procession featuring various images of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Intramuros, Manila yesterday, a prelude to the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio | Manila Bulletin)

FILE PHOTO: Thousands of people join the 37th Grand Marian Procession featuring various images of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Intramuros, Manila, a prelude to the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. (Rio Leonelle Deluvio/MANILA BULLETIN)

“That is indeed a very good and inspiring news. With this Christmas season, it is a beautiful and lasting gift of our country to our Blessed Mother,” Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said in a statement.

“We Filipinos are very motherly. It is our nature to go to our mothers in any aspects of our life, to stay with and support our mothers, to take care our mothers,” he added.

With this kind gesture of the President, Santos said the Blessed Mother will surely keep us under her maternal care and protection.

“She will intercede for our good before her Son Jesus,” he said.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes also welcomed the President’s declaration, saying it’s a “pleasant surprise.”

“Wonderful! It is a pleasant surprise!” he said.

After all, Bastes said Duterte has still some respect for the Catholic Church.

He said the declaration also showed how much the President loves his mother.

“His mother was a devout Catholic, and he loves his Mama very much,” said Bastes.

President Duterte signed on Dec. 28 Republic Act 10966 to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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