MANILA– The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading a measure seeking to declare December 8 of every year as a special national non-working holiday in commemoration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, author of House Bill 5241, said the Virgin Mary is venerated as the “principal patroness” of the Philippines, which is the third largest Catholic country in the world.
Several cathedrals, including the Manila Cathedral, were established in the Philippines under the invocation of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Fariñas also noted that Concepcion, one of the three ships in Magellan’s voyage to the Philippines in 1521, was named after the Immaculate Conception.
“Thus, the country before being named Filipinas and even before the name of Christ had begun to be preached, saw on these shores the name of Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception,” said Fariñas.
December 8 is declared a holy day of obligation for Catholics all over the world, in honor of the holiness and purity of the Virgin Mary, venerating her conception as “extraordinary, wonderful, eminently holy, and different from the conception of all other human beings.”
“Hence, the Church requires public devotion and veneration of the faithful during the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In fact, in some countries such as Guam and Malta, Catholics take the day off from work and school to observe said feast,” said Fariñas.