UST, Manila – So you think actors and actresses are nothing but shallow, empty creatures of glitz and glamor ?
You should have heard Coco Martin, Judy Ann Santos, and Christopher de Leon, three bright television and big screen stars share about their particular Catholic devotion on the second day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization today Oct. 17, 2013 at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.
Cardinal Tagle thanked Judy Ann, Christopher and Coco for taking time off to contribute to the Stories of Faith section of this morning’s conference with experiences with the shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag, the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene and an offer to play Lorenzo Ruiz in a planned movie on the first Filipino saint. De Leon said even if the movie was never produced, he had a lingering preoccupation with the life of St. Lorenzo that drove him decades later to produce a musical play that drew good reviews in Manila recently.
Monsignor Clem Ignacio of Quiapo Church also shared about how he used to be so ashamed about his mother’s devotion to the Black Nazarene. “Mommy, get up, people are looking at you,” he remembered telling his mother who would get on her knees and go down the long aisle to the altar praying for her special intentions. In hindsight, “For all I know I was the one people there were looking at,” Monsignor Ignacio said.
He recalled his struggles and “rock bottom” moments as a priest until Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales as Archbishop of Manila assigned him rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. While serving this assignment, the Monsignor Ignacio said he came to see the sincerity and devotion of people to the suffering Christ.
Cancer-stricken retired Archbishop Leonardo Legazspi of Caceres, northern Philippines also gave a faith reflection on how his medical tests showed he was clear of cancer after people prayed with him to Our Lady of Penafrancia during the filming of the movie project “Ikaw ang pag-ibig (you are love) to commemorate the tercentenary of the devotion in 2010. The cancer originally in the lungs later showed up again at stage 4 after all anniversary activities had been completed. Archbishop Legaspi said he was leaving his fate all up to God.
Still to come: more photos and reports on this and Fr. Catalino Arevalo, S.J.’s discussion of popular religiosity