Cardinal Jose Advincula, archbishop of Manila, was conferred with the pallium on December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, at the Manila Cathedral.
Archbishop Charles Brown, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, conferred the pallium to the cardinal during the sacred investiture.
The pallium, a white wool which is commonly used as a vestment, is usually given to the new archbishops by the pope.
The Holy Father blesses the pallium as a bond between the pope and the bishops as it is conferred to them.
The investiture of the sacred pallium is usually held annually on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, but the pandemic prevented the Manila prelate to travel early this year.
The symbolism of the pallium traces its history of collaboration between the pope and the archdiocese while it also functions as a gesture of the pope’s authority.
Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Advincula as the 33rd archbishop of Manila on March 25, Feast of the Annunciation of Mary, and later installed on June 24, Feast of St. John the Baptist.
The Manila prelate is among the 34 recently appointed archbishops from around the world.
In his message during the ceremony, Archbishop Brown said the pallium is a sign of the archbishop’s responsibilities not only in his archdiocese but also in the entire ecclesiastical province.
The Manila ecclesiastical province comprises of the dioceses of Antipolo, Cubao, Imus, Kalookan, Malolos, Novaliches, Parañaque, Pasig, and San Pablo.
It also covers the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, as well as the Apostolic Vicariates of Puerto Princesa and Taytay.
The papal nuncio explained that the metropolitan archbishop is tasked “to be vigilant over the entire province so that Catholic faith and church life are carefully preserved and he is called to keep the pope informed.”
He said the pallium is also given to the archbishop “as a sign that he is to be an image of the Good Shepherd who seeks out lost sheep and brings them home rejoicing.”
In his homily, Cardinal Advincula said the pallium symbolizes communion with the bishop of Rome, adding that “Pope Francis remembers our local church.”
“He loves and cares for us and this pallium symbolizes his apostolic solidarity with all of us. The pallium is indeed a symbol of our synodality as a church,” he said.
The cardinal explained that the pallium symbolizes the pastoral responsibility that Christ entrusted to his apostles.
“Woven in pure wool and placed upon the shoulders of the archbishop, it signifies the yolk of shepherding ministry,” he said.
“Indeed the shoulders of the shepherds should be the privileged place for the lost, the hungry, the deserted and the wounded,” said Cardinal Advincula.
“For the shoulders are very close to his ears and to his heart, from there they can freely whisper their grumblings and groans and voice out their sighs and cries,” he added.
He asked the faithful “to journey with me, to join in prayer and services.”
“Please pray for me, your servant and shepherd. Let us serve Christ our Lord,” he said.