By CHRISTIAN WAKEFIELD, Cebu Gold Star Daily Reporter
PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday graced the celebration of the 75th 75th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Cebu and officially unveiled the marker of the “Holy Door” at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
Arroyo and Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal led the opening of the “Holy Door” that signaled the official diamond celebration of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the opening of the “door to heaven” that will remain open for one year. The “Holy Door” will be closed for 25 years.
President Gloria Arroyo joined the “high mass” yesterday afternoon that was celebrated by Cardinal Vidal and attended by at least 600 priests and 38 bishops nationwide. Masses in other churches of Cebu were cancelled whole day yesterday for the said event.
The President will fly to the province of Antique today after spending over night at the Malacañang sa Sugbo.
The official opening of the 75th anniversary celebration triggered a series of events and celebrations that will last until April 28, 2010.
Other highlights of the 75th anniversary of the Archdiocese also include the feast of San Vitalis, the patron saint of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the 444th founding anniversary of “Kaplag” which marks the finding of Sr. Sto. Niño image in Cebu.
During this period, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral will be a pilgrimage site where pilgrims who pass through the Holy Door will gain plenary indulgence granted by the Holy See on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee.
The Archdiocese of Cebu was established by Pope Pius XI in 1934, and its first archbishop was Msgr. Gabriel M. Reyes, who served in that capacity until 1949 when he was transferred to Manila to become the first Filipino archbishop.