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Butuan celebrates 500 years of Christianity
Church goers attend Mass at the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Marikina City on March 14, 2021 which coincides with Pope Francis' Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, file

Butuan celebrates 500 years of Christianity

Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - March 16, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Agusan del Norte’s Magallanes town where the first mass marker was erected by Spanish friars back in 1872 will commence its weeklong celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines with a mass at the Magellan Shrine this morning.

The mass will be officiated by Nuestra Señora Del Rosario parish priest Fr. Dirk Sanchez and his assistant, Fr. Jun Cepeda.

Another mass, they said, would be held at the Magellan Shrine to also celebrate 2021 as the Year of St. Joseph. The shrine is the site where the first mass marker was erected on March 19, 1872.

They added that the parish will be launching on March 19 the Amoris Laetitia Family Year to give importance to the sacrament of marriage and family among the Catholic faithful. This is aside from continuing the novena that started last March 10 and will end on the 18th.

Magallanes, Agusan del Norte Mayor Cesar Cumba told The STAR that today’s mass is a joint celebration of the Catholic church here and the local government to commemorate the country’s first mass.

Agusan del Norte Rep. Angel Amante-Matba and Gov. Dale Corvera were among those invited to attend, he added.

The Agusan del Norte Provincial Board earlier passed a resolution to express support for the municipality of Magallanes’ claim of “historical honor” as the first spot in the archipelago where the expedition of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan – under the patronage of Spain – landed on March 16, 1521.

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