-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Pope Sends Message to Filipino Catholics
Catholic Leaders Consecrate Nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
By Junno Arocho Esteves
MANILA, June 11, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, sent a message to Archbishop Jose Palma, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines expressing the Holy Father's closeness to the Filipino Catholics as leaders led a national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The consecration took place in cathedrals, parishes, shrines and chapels throughout the Philippines on Saturday.
"The Holy Father unites himself spiritually with you on this important occasion, praying that the Most Pure Heart of our Blessed Mother Mary may inspire all Filipinos to devote themselves through her, to Jesus her divine Son," Cardinal Bertone stated in the message.
The Vatican Secretary of State also conveyed Pope Francis' hope that the devotion to the Blessed Mother would lead Filipinos to "appreciate and respect more the value of life in all its stages."
"[The Holy Father] hopes that devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart, beating in unison with that of her unborn child, may inspire an ever greater appreciation and attention to all human life, from conception through natural death, and lead to greater service to the poorest and the weakest, those who are closest to God himself," the statement read.
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