By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has released the official logo for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity here in the country in 2021.
Themed “Gifted to Give”, the logo was released after the members of the CBCP Permanent Council, who met September 18, approved it.
“The official logo of the 500 Years of Christianity that the Church in the Philippines will be celebrating in 2021 was approved,” Father Marvin Mejia, CBCP Secretary-General, said in a circular dated September 19.
In the said circular, the CBCP also attached a brief explanation of the different elements that can be seen in the logo namely; the Cross, Ship, Hovering color of blue, the First Baptism in the Philippines, the Philippine Sun, Ichthus (the fish symbolizing Jesus), the Holy Rosary and the Hand of God the Father.
The Cross, depicted as the Magellan’s cross, signifies the Christian sign of salvation. It also depicts the strong mast or a tall post as the structure of the ship to carry the sails.
The ship signifies the navigators of the expedition who brought the faith in our native land. It also signifies the Church likens to the Arch of Noah or as the boat of St Peter, the sacrament of our salvation, theologically.
The Hovering Colour Of Blue shows various symbolisms. It depicts the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. Through the Holy Spirit, we are made sharer of the Divine Life in the sacrament of baptism. It is also like a cloud of the sky which manifests the presence of God for the early Israelites. It is also slightly attached to the cross or the mast as a sail of the ship, significantly telling us that through the Holy Spirit the missionaries were led to our country, bringing us to Christianity. The orientation of the Holy Spirit is going towards the left, to signify that to be authentic Christians we must remember the past, in thanksgiving going back to the roots of our faith. Yet it is in motion because the same Holy Spirit pushes us today and tomorrow with great hope in God’s abiding presence. The circular pattern of the Holy Spirit shows that it navigates all around the world as God is a missionary God who commissioned the Church for world mission.
The central figure is a graphic art depicted from the opening of Fernando Amorsolo’s “First Baptism in the Philippines”.
The Philippine Sun, a trademark of Amorsolo’s various artwork, was derived from the Philippine flag as it upholds the idea of the country being the pearl of the orient sea. It also signifies new life, a new beginning, the risen Christ, the hope of our salvation.
The ichthus or the fish, which symbolizes Jesus, is a reminder that the faith we professed is the same faith as that of the early Christians. It is colored in red to signify that the blood of the martyrs had been the seed of our Christian faith in imitation of Christ.
The blue beads depict the holy rosary since Filipinos are deeply devoted to our Blessed Mother.
The images are placed on the subtle and gentle Hand of God the Father in a bold accented brown lines from whose uncreated Wisdom has planned that all these events will be unfolded according to his will.
Named artist of the logo was Edilberto Dionio, a Theology student.