The Blessed Mother at the Immaculate Conception Church in Malabon City (Photo by Azer Parrocha)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday encouraged Filipino Catholics to put their faith in God and in each other as the country celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In his message, he asked the Catholic faithful to take inspiration from the Blessed Mother’s charitable and selfless love for others.

“Like Mary, may we also strive to resign from our individualistic tendencies and aspire to generously give ourselves without expecting anything in return,” he said. “In the end, what we can bring into our everlasting home are those we cherish deep in our hearts, not the possessions we can only hold in our hands.”

The President reminded Filipino Catholics to revisit their “reason for being” and search for their vocation “in the spirit of unconditional obedience and abiding love.”

“I trust that no matter how uncertain the days ahead remain, we will soon understand the will of God and the purpose behind the journeys that we have only walked in faith,” he said. “During periods of both adversity and triumph, we humbly implore divine providence, especially as we overcome our limitations, weakness, and flaws.”

He also urged the Filipino faithful to have confidence and faith in God and each other as the nation moves toward progress.

“As we allow our shared experiences to shape our history and lead us in achieving our nation’s aspirations, let us place our confidence in the Almighty and put our trust in one another. In the intersection of these things, we will certainly learn where to hold on and gain greater courage,” he said.

Marcos told Filipino Catholics to anticipate the promises of “a brighter and more comfortable future” as they continue to work hard and pray for guidance.

Republic Act 10966, signed by former president Rodrigo Duterte in 2017, declares December 8 as a special non-working holiday in commemoration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Principal Patroness of the Philippines.

December 8 is also declared a special non-working holiday under Proclamation 1236. (PNA)