Moscow, July 4, 2017
Another mass Baptism has been celebrated in the Philippines, reports Fr. George Maximov. According to a post on his Vkontakte social media page, 19 Filipinos were united to Christ in the holy Orthodox Church on Saturday, July 1.
On July 1, “the Baptism of 19 Filipinos in a mountain river near Arakan took place after a long catechism,” Fr. George writes. All of the newly-illumined are from the nearby village of Makalangot in the Cotabato Province, where there has been an Orthodox community since 2015. Previously they had been members of the Philippine Independent “Aglipayan” Catholic Church.
239 Filipinos were baptized on August 21, 2015, with Fr. George Maximov also then participating, including several former clergy of the Aglipayan church.
On Sunday, July 2, the feast of St. John Maximovitch, the newly-baptized attended the Divine Liturgy in Arakan, joining in with the more than 250 communicants that day. St. John himself had lived in a temporary refuge camp with a group of orphans under his care, having left China after the rise of Communism there.
Meeting with Archbishop Sergius of Solnechnogorsk on June 19, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines Alan Caetano promised to offer assistance to several Russian Orthodox communities throughout the country, to help revive the Russian Orthodox presence in the country.