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Duterte declares Marian feast a working holiday

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, signed a law declaring September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a “national special working holiday.”
A working holiday means that there will be classes in schools, while offices and other establishments will be open.
It is the second Marian feast to be declared a holiday in the Philippines. In 2017, Duterte declared December 8 a special non-working holiday to mark the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
He paid homage to Mary and described her as “selfless” when she accepted the invitation to be Jesus Christ’s mother “so that the plan of salvation be realised.”
The president, a vocal critic of Catholic leaders, called Mary “the epitome of faith and source of inspiration” for many Christians, especially during challenging times.
Father Melvin Castro of Tarlac, said the president’s new declaration is a “cause of joy” because the state “recognises the importance of religious and spiritual celebrations.” He expressed hope that the celebration will inspire people “to emulate and imitate the virtues of Our Lady.”
A member of congress, Rodolfo Farinas, author of the bill, said the holiday aims to enable Filipino Catholics “to venerate and celebrate their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
The legislator noted what he described as a “fervent and deep devotion” by Filipinos to the Blessed Virgin Mary that is reflected in the celebrations.
Pope Pius XII declared the Virgin Mary as the principal patroness of the Philippines in an apostolic letter on 12 September 1942.
The modern canon of scripture does not record Mary’s birth. The earliest known account of Mary’s birth is found in an apocryphal text from the late second century. 

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