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Philippines release logo for 500 years of Christianity

Church leaders say the 2021 observance is a reminder of how Filipinos embraced the Catholic faith

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

Published: September 23, 2019 08:56 AM GMT

Updated: September 23, 2019 09:01 AM GMT

Philippines release logo for 500 years of Christianity

The official logo of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.

Philippine Catholic bishops have released the official logo for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country in 2021.

The logo, which carries the theme "Gifted to Give," was approved by members of the permanent council of the bishops' conference on Sept. 18.

In a statement, Father Marvin Mejia, secretary-general of the conference, identified the various elements of the logo, including a cross, a ship, the sun, a rosary, among others.
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The cross planted by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan on the island of Cebu signifies Christianity and serves as the mast of a ship.

The ship represents the navigators of the expedition that brought the faith to the island. It also signifies the Church and its sacraments.

A dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, which shares the "Divine Life" in the sacrament of baptism. It also looks like a cloud that manifests the presence of God.

"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," read Father Mejia's statement.

"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," it added.

The central figure on the logo is taken from national artist Fernando Amorsolo's "First Baptism in the Philippines" painting.

The sun, a trademark of Amorsolo's various artworks, was derived from the Philippine flag, suggesting the idea that the country is "the pearl of the orient sea."

"It also signifies new life, a new beginning, the risen Christ, the hope of our salvation," added the statement.

The "ichtus" or the fish, which symbolizes Jesus, is a reminder that the faith we professed is the same faith as that of the early Christians. Its red color signifies the blood of the martyrs, the "seed of Christian faith in imitation of Christ."

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, earlier said the 2021 observance "is a reminder of how Filipinos embraced the Catholic faith."

"It is not a reminder of how we were colonized but of how Filipinos embraced Catholicism," said the bishop, adding that "colonization and the arrival of Christianity in the country are two different things."

Spain brought Christianity to the Philippines in 1521 with the arrival of Magellan in Cebu.

The archipelago, which was named after King Philip II, became a colony of Spain until 1898.

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