Manila Cathedral book, testament of faith: Tagle

MANILA — A book about the Manila Cathedral, the mother of church in the country, which showcases the history and story of the Christian faith, was launched in Manila on Saturday.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle noted that the book, entitled “Manila Cathedral: Restoring a Monument to Faith, Architecture and History”, is not just a book but a testament.

“We will launch this book which is not just a book. It is a testament. It is our way of witnessing to the power of love. If you love God, if you love your community then your faith will urge you to do something,” he said.

“So as this book chronicles how to reconstruct a cathedral, the first cathedral in the Philippines, we don’t have only data about architectures, about expenses, about all the studies. We have much more than that,” the Cardinal added.

Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral, is optimistic that young people will be drawn to the book as it features not only the story of the Cathedral but also of Christianity in the country.

“The youth will appreciate more the story of Manila Cathedral and of the Philippines because it connected to the story of Christianity in the Philippines. Because the story of Manila Cathedral is also the story of how Christianity developed in the Philippines,” he said.

“It’s a story of faith that’s whey the book will be a lesson of how Manila Cathedral played an important part in the development of Christianity in the Philippines,” the Catholic priest added.

He noted that the book is significant to the Catholic faithful since the Manila Cathedral is considered as the mother church in the country.

“Even Pope Francis himself said the Manila Cathedral is the mother church in the country being the first cathedral in the Philippines. To the faithful, it tells us of how Christianity grew, but also to non-Catholics and non-believers, because it’s about history. If they want to learn about the history of the country, the history of Manila, they will look it up in the book,” he added.

Some 5,000 copies of the book have been printed, priced at PHP2,500 and available at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila.

“I think it’s a must-have because it’s the story of Christianity in the country. Proceeds will be for maintenance of the Manila Cathedral. Sixty years old so even if retrofitted, maintenance is continuous. [The] intention of the board was to help support maintenance of the building,” Malicdem said.

He added that half of the copies will go to intended recipients —cardinals all over the world, Vatican, bishops, priests, and parishes.

Tagle will give Pope Francis a copy of the book when he visits the Holy Father in May.

Also present during the book launch is Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, and Alfred Ty of GT foundation, among others. Ferdinand Patinio/