Vidal: Prepare to face own death

Posted on November 3, 2012

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All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days give people time to ponder on life’s fleeting moments and prepare for one’s final passage.

So went the message of Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal as he visited the graves of his father, sister, and aunt at the Carreta Cemetery in Cebu City yesterday morning.

“Yesterday, they were with us. Today, they are no longer with us. Today, we are alive. Tomorrow, we do not know. We have to prepare ourselves for that,” said the 81-year-old Vidal.

“It is our duty to remember them (dead). If you are generous enough to remember your dead today, you would also be remembered when you die,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Vidal arrived in Cebu last Thursday after attending the canonization of St. Pedro Calungsod in Rome.

Before he went to the cemetery past 9 a.m. Vidal officiated Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral mausoleum, where several bishops are buried.

“I’m very grateful to God that we were given an opportunity to celebrate again the day of our departed brother and sisters,” he said.

Vidal was accompanied by two nuns and two house assistants to the cemetery.

He offered prayers and blessed the graves of his loved ones with holy water. The remains of his father, Fructuoso Sebastian Vidal Sr., lie under a big tree. The graves of his aunt and sister are next to it.

Though they died in Cebu, Vidal planned to transfer their graves to his birthplace in Marinduque.

The Catholic Church grants plenary indulgences or total remission of the punishment of sins to those who visit the cemeteries and pray for the dead on the first eight days of November, said Fr. Dan Domingo delos Angeles.

On other days, only a partial indulgence is granted.

This practice is based on the belief that Christians can draw upon the treasury of merits of the Church and the saints.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church “an indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.”

As a precondition, one should be in a state of grace by going to confession, attending Mass, and praying the “Our Father,” one “Hail Mary,” and one “Glory Be” for the intention of the Church and the Pope for the indulgence to be granted. /Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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