Philippines to declare Virgin Mary’s birthday holiday

By Matters India Reporter

Manila, May 20, 2019: The House of Representatives is to pass a bill soon declaring the birthday of the Virgin Mary a holiday.

Voting 19-0, the Senate passed a bill declaring September 8, which marks the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, a special non-working holiday. The house has passed the same measure in December, reported CNN Philippines.

If signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte, this would be the second Marian feast to be declared as a holiday in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, following the Feast of Immaculate Conception, which was declared as a special non-working holiday in December 2017.

Pope Pius XII declared the Virgin Mary as the principal patroness of the Philippines in an apostolic letter on September 12, 1942.

The church is highly influential and an important source of moral guidance in the Philippines, where about 80 percent of a population of 105 million are Roman Catholic.

The Philippine Catholic Church will be celebrating the 500 years of the arrival of Christianity in the country in 2021.

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